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Hydrology 2017, 4(2), 23; doi:10.3390/hydrology4020023

Importance of Rocks and Their Weathering Products on Groundwater Quality in Central-East Cameroon

1
Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Higher Teachers’ Training College, University of Maroua, P.O. Box. 55, Maroua, Cameroon
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Maroua, P.O. Box. 814, Maroua, Cameroon
3
Institute of Mining and Geological Research, P.O. Box 4110, Yaoundé, Cameroon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luca Brocca
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract

The present work highlights the influence of lithology on water quality in Méiganga and its surroundings. The main geological formations in this region include gneiss, granite and amphibolite. The soils developed on these rocks are of ABC type, which are acidic to slightly acidic. Electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, total nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, sulfate, chloride, phosphorus and exchangeable base values were low to very low in the soil samples. Groundwater samples were investigated for their physicochemical characteristics. The wide ranges of EC values (15.1–436 µS/cm) and total dissolved solids (9–249 mg/L) revealed the heterogeneous distribution of hydrochemical processes within the groundwater of the area. The relative abundance of major dissolved species (mg/L) was Ca2+ > Na+ > Mg2+ > K+ for cations and HCO3 >> NO3 > Cl > SO42 for anions. All the groundwater samples were soft, with total hardness values (2.54–136.65 mg/L) below the maximum permissible limits of the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline. The majority of water samples (67%) were classified as mixed CaMg-HCO3 type. Alkaline earth metal contents dominated those of alkali metals in 66.66% of samples. Thus, for the studied groundwater, Mg2+ and Ca2+ ion adsorption by clay minerals was almost nonexistent; this implies their release into the solution, which accounts for their high concentrations compared to alkali metals. Ion geochemistry revealed that water-rock interactions (silicate weathering) and ion exchange processes regulated the groundwater chemistry. One water sample points towards the evaporation domain of this diagram, indicating that groundwater probably does not originate from a deeper system. Kaolinite is the most stable secondary phase in the waters in the study area, in accordance with the geochemical process of monosiallitization, which predominated in the humid tropical zone. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogeochemistry; groundwater; water-rock interaction; Meiganga; East Cameroon hydrogeochemistry; groundwater; water-rock interaction; Meiganga; East Cameroon
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dedzo, M.G.; Tsozué, D.; Mimba, M.E.; Teddy, F.; Nembungwe, R.M.; Linida, S. Importance of Rocks and Their Weathering Products on Groundwater Quality in Central-East Cameroon. Hydrology 2017, 4, 23.

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