A detailed study has been presented on groundwater metal contents of Sahebgunj district in the state of Jharkhand, India with special reference to arsenic. Both tubewell and well waters have been studied separately with greater emphasis on tubewell waters. Groundwaters of all the nine blocks of Sahebgunj district have been surveyed for iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc in addition to arsenic. Normal distribution statistic, exploratory data analysis and robust Z-score analysis have been employed to find out the distribution pattern, localisation of data, outliers and other related information. Groundwaters of three blocks of Sahebgunj, namely, Sahebgunj, Rajmahal and Udhawa have been found to be alarmingly contaminated with arsenic present at or above 10 ppb. Arsenic distribution patterns in these blocks are highly asymmetric in nature with the common feature of increasing width from first to fourth quartile. A very broad fourth quartile in each case represents a long asymmetric tail on the right of the median. Tubewell waters of at least two more blocks require regular monitoring to identify the outbreak of arsenic at the onset. Groundwaters of Sahebgunj district in general contain high iron and manganese. It is by and large soft in nature. Well waters have been found to be better with regard to arsenic but iron and manganese contents do not vary significantly. Normal distribution analysis (NDA), box and whisker (BW) plot and Z-score analysis together can provide a reasonably complete statistical picture of metal contents in Sahebgunj district groundwaters. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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