• P K Sikdar

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Threat of land subsidence in and around Kolkata City and East Kolkata Wetlands, West Bengal, India

      P Sahu P K Sikdar

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      This paper attempts to estimate the possible rate of land subsidence of Kolkata City including Salt Lake City and the adjoining East Kolkata Wetlands located at the lower part of the deltaic alluvial plain of South Bengal basin. Demand of groundwater for drinking, agricultural and industrial purposes has increased due to rapid urbanization. The subsurface geology consists of Quaternary sediments comprising a succession of clay, silty clay and sand of various grades. Groundwater occurs mostly under confined condition except in those places where the top aquitard has been obliterated due to the scouring action of past channels. Currently, the piezometric head shows a falling trend and it may be accelerated due to further over-withdrawal of groundwater resulting in land subsidence. The estimated mean land subsidence rate is 13.53 mm/year and for 1 m drop in the piezometric head, the mean subsidence is 3.28 cm. The surface expression of the estimated land subsidence is however, cryptic because of a time lag between the settlement of the thick low-permeable aquitard at the top and its surface expression. Therefore, groundwater of the cities and wetland areas should be developed cautiously based on the groundwater potential to minimize the threat of land subsidence.

    • Geochemical evolution of groundwater in southern Bengal Basin: The example of Rajarhat and adjoining areas, West Bengal, India

      Paulami Sahu P K Sikdar Surajit Chakraborty

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      Detailed geochemical analysis of groundwater beneath 1223 km2 area in southern Bengal Basin along with statistical analysis on the chemical data was attempted, to develop a better understanding of the geochemical processes that control the groundwater evolution in the deltaic aquifer of the region. Groundwater is categorized into three types: `excellent', `good' and `poor' and seven hydrochemical facies are assigned to three broad types: `fresh', `mixed' and `brackish' waters. The `fresh' water type dominated with sodium indicates active flushing of the aquifer, whereas chloride-rich `brackish' groundwater represents freshening of modified connate water. The `mixed' type groundwater has possibly evolved due to hydraulic mixing of `fresh' and `brackish' waters. Enrichment of major ions in groundwater is due to weathering of feldspathic and ferro-magnesian minerals by percolating water. The groundwater of Rajarhat New Town (RNT) and adjacent areas in the north and southeast is contaminated with arsenic. Current-pumping may induce more arsenic to flow into the aquifers of RNT and Kolkata cities. Future large-scale pumping of groundwater beneath RNT can modify the hydrological system, which may transport arsenic and low quality water from adjacent aquifers to presently unpolluted aquifer.

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