Probable sources and mechanisms of arsenic (As) release in shallow aquifer in eastern Bangladesh are evaluated using statistical analysis of groundwater compositions. Dissolved As in 39 samples ranged from 8.05 to 341.5 μg/L with an average of 95.14 μg/L. Ninety seven percent of wells exceed the WHO limit (10 μg/L) for safe drinking water. Principal component analysis is applied to reduce 16 measured compositional variables to five significant components (principal components-PCs) that explain 86.63% of the geochemical variance. Two component loadings, namely PC 1 and PC 2 (45.31% and 23.05%) indicate the natural processes within the aquifers in which organic matter is a key reactant in the weathering reactions. Four groups of wells are defined by the PCA and each group of wells represents distinct physicochemical characteristics. Among them, group III groundwater shows higher As concentration together with high concentrations of Fe, Mn, dissolved organic carbon, PO43 and HCO3- than groups I and II. Speciation calculations suggest that only wells of group III are saturated with respect to siderite, and all groups of samples are supersaturated with respect of rhodochrosite. The relationship of As with these parameters in the different groups of wells of the study area suggests that reductive dissolution of Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides with microbially mediated degradation of organic matter is considered to be the dominant processes to release As in groundwater.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law