Assessment of groundwater vulnerability using integrated remote sensing and GIS techniques for the West Bengal coast, India

Sudha R. NVV, Satyanarayana A.N.V , Bhaskaran P.K , Louis Rice, Komali Kantamaneni

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    Groundwater in the coastal districts of West Bengal, India is highly susceptible to various factors such as over-pumping, variations in rainfall, lower elevation and risk due to sea level rise. In addition to these factors, tropical cyclone induced storm surge and saltwater intrusion also induce potential risks to the quality of the coastal aquifers. There are several knowledge gaps, as many of these factors have not previously been systematically and rigorously analysed; furthermore, up-to-date information is either unavailable or insufficient. Accordingly, the present study analysed the groundwater vulnerability during the pre- and post-monsoon months for the period from 2001 to 2010 at three main coastal districts of West Bengal: East Midnapore, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas (administrative regions). The GALDIT index-based model was employed to assess salt-water intrusion into the groundwater using Geographic Information System (GIS). Spatial distribution maps were also generated to identify highly vulnerable groundwater locations. Map removal and single parameter sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the sensitivity of the parameters. The study reveals that the depth of ground-water levels for the three districts increased and also the rainfall exerts a significant effect on the groundwater depth. The chemical constituents TDS and chloride contents in groundwater during the period 2004 to 2010 were analysed. The average TDS range values for pre- and post-monsoon seasons were observed to vary in the range between 100 and 3874 mg/l and 83–1929 mg/l respectively. Reports indicate that, groundwater in the area is highly saturated with iron containing minerals like Fe(OH)3, goethite, and hematite and is also moderately saturated with the calcite, chalcedony, dolomite and quartz, whereas under-saturated with anhydrite and gypsum. The implications of the research points to the urgent need for remedial action and appropriate responses at policy-level to protect groundwater.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number103760
    JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


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