Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 125 Issue 1 February 2016 pp 129-145
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.
Volume 126 Issue 2 March 2017 Article ID 0029
In this paper, numerical simulations of regional-scale groundwater flow of North Bengal Plain have been carried out with special emphasis on the arsenic (As)-rich alluvium filled gap between the Rajmahal hills on the west and the Garo hills on the east. The proposed concern of this modelling arose from development that has led to large water table declines in the urban area of English Bazar block, Malda district, West Bengal and possible transport of As in the near future from the adjacent As-polluted aquifer. Groundwater occurs under unconfined condition in a thick zone of saturation within the Quaternaryalluvial sediments. Modelling indicates that current pumping has significantly changed the groundwater flowpaths from pre-development condition. At the present pumping rate, the pumping wells of the urban area may remain uncontaminated till the next 25 yrs, considering only pure advection of water but some water from the As-polluted zone may enter wells by 50 yrs. But geochemical and other processes such as adsorption, precipitation, redox reaction and microbial activity may significantly retard the predicted rate by advective transport. In the rural areas, majority of the water pumped from the aquifer is forirrigation, which is continuously re-applied on the surface. The near-vertical nature of the flowpaths indicates that, where As is present or released at shallow depths, it will continue to occur in pumping wells. Modelling also indicates that placing all the pumping wells at depths below 100 m may not provideAs-free water permanently.