Coastal Groundwater Quality Evaluation and Hydrogeochemical Characterization Using Chemometric Techniques

Hidayat Ullah, Iffat Naz, Aiyeshah Alhodaib, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Muddassar
2022 Water  
The physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentration in the groundwater of the coastal region of Lasbela, Baluchistan were investigated. Cations and anions were determined through ion chromatography. The concentration levels of eight heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Pb, Zn, Fe, Cu, and Mn) in the groundwater were analyzed through the analytical procedures of atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The cations were present in the descending order of magnesium > sodium > calcium > potassium and anions
more » ... as bicarbonate > sulfate > chloride. Two parameters (bicarbonate and total dissolved solids) were above and other physicochemical indices of groundwater were below the threshold limits of the WHO. Positive correlations of pH and electrical conductivity were observed with cations and anions. The significant positive correlation between sodium and bicarbonate (0.427) indicated the dissolution of carbonate rocks. The concentration of heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Mn, Cr, Pb, Fe, Zn, and Ni) ranged from 0.1 to 0.4, 0.02 to 0.09, 0.04 to 0.9, 0.03 to 0.5, 0.01 to 0.91, 0.05 to 1.30, 0.01 to 0.60, and 0.02 to 0.90 mg/L. The highest concentration of Pb (0.21 mg/L) and Cd (0.16 mg/L) were approximately 20 and 50 times higher than the permissible limits of the WHO. Hierarchical cluster analysis classified the twelve physicochemical parameters into four clusters and the eight heavy metals into seven clusters. Principal component analysis extracted eight latent components for physicochemical properties and heavy metals with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 that had positive loads of fluoride, iron, electrical conductivity, sodium, cadmium, and sulfate. Major pollutants in the groundwater were accounted for by PC 1, and the main factors that affected the water quality were Pb, Cr, and Cu. Fe had a modest impact on the water quality in this region. From the findings, it can be concluded that the coastal groundwater of the region has a higher concentration of heavy metals, which makes it unfit for drinking purposes.
doi:10.3390/w14213583 fatcat:y5awr5ojqfdujlf44kmtdkcmyq