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Assessment of Heavy Metals Pollution and Stable Isotopic Signatures in Hard Rock Aquifers of Krishnagiri District, South India

Department of Earth Sciences, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar 608002, India
Research Scientist, Water Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait City 13109, Kuwait
Department of Applied Geology, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Curtin University Malaysia, CDT 250, 98009 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 200;
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 29 April 2019 / Published: 5 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogeochemistry and Groundwater Management)
PDF [7190 KB, uploaded 5 May 2019]


The area chosen for study, Krishnagiri district, has a hard rock terrain and the aquifers located there are sparsely recharged by limited rainfall. The study area has a complex geology with hard rock aquifers. To have an overall view of the trace metals concentration in the groundwater of the study area, 39 groundwater samples were collected during Post Monsoon (POM) representing various lithologies. pH, EC, TDS, major ions and 22 heavy metals were analyzed for all the samples. Ca-Cl is the dominant water facies in the groundwater, which indicates the dissolution of ions by local precipitation. The analysis shows the dominance of trace metal levels in groundwater as follows: Zn > Ba > Sr > Fe > Al > B > Mn > Cu > Pb > Ni > V > Li > Rb > Cr > Mo > Se > As > Co > Cd > Ag > Sb > Be. The pollution indices, namely the heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and degree of contamination (Cd) were calculated to assess the drinking and agriculture water usage. The pollution indices show that 2% of samples are polluted with respect to HPI and 3% with respect to the degree of contamination. The heavy metals (Al-Cr-Mn-Fe-Ni-Co-Zn-Ba-Pb) in groundwater show significant correlations with these indices, suggesting that they are affected by weathering of rock matrix with less anthropogenic impact. Stable isotopes (Oxygen and Hydrogen) were analyzed to identify the possible recharge mechanisms in the groundwater. It has been identified that recharge is mainly due to the local precipitation, which is the result of release metals in the groundwater through weathering. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; heavy metals; stable isotopes; weathering; pollution indices groundwater; heavy metals; stable isotopes; weathering; pollution indices

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Manikandan, S.; Chidambaram, S.; Prasanna, M.V.; Ganayat, R.R. Assessment of Heavy Metals Pollution and Stable Isotopic Signatures in Hard Rock Aquifers of Krishnagiri District, South India. Geosciences 2019, 9, 200.

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