Characterization and appraisal of facets influencing geochemistry of groundwater in the Kulpawn sub-basin of the White Volta Basin, Ghana

  • Kortatsi B
  • Anku Y
  • Anornu G
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Abstract

Groundwater composition in the Kulpawn basin is largely controlled by
aluminosilicates dissolution and cation exchange resulting in mainly
Ca-Mg-HCO3 and NaHCO3 water types. Principal component analysis, Piper
graphical classification, and stable isotope (O-18 and H-2) of
groundwater and surface-water samples were used to delineate geochemical
processes and groundwater facies. The groundwater is mildly acid to
neutral and low in conductivity. Chemical constituents except HCO3 (-)
and SiO2 have low concentration. No cation shows clear majority,
however, the order of relative abundance is Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+. HCO3
(-) is the predominant anion and the order of abundance is HCO3 (-) >
NO3 (-) > SO4 (2-) > Cl-. SiO2 concentration is high compared with the
major cations. Dissolution of plagioclase, pyroxene and biotite and
cation exchange are responsible for groundwater composition. Isotopic
data suggest integrative, smooth and rapid recharge from meteoric
origin. The groundwater quality is generally good for domestic usage;
however, 18 and 47% of boreholes respectively have NO3 (-) and F-
levels outside WHO recommended limits suggesting potential physiological
problems in some localities. The groundwater has low sodium absorption
ratio and low to moderate salinity hazard but significant magnesium
hazard partially limiting its use for irrigation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aluminosilicates weathering
  • Cation exchange
  • Ghana Kulpawn Basin
  • Principal component analysis

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Authors

  • Benony Komla Kortatsi

  • Y. S A Anku

  • G. K. Anornu

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