Arsenic-enriched groundwaters of India, Bangladesh and TaiwanComparison of hydrochemical characteristics and mobility constraints

Jyoti Prakash Maity, Bibhash Nath, Chien Yen Chen, Prosun Bhattacharya, Ondra Sracek, Jochen Bundschuh, Sandeep Kar, Roger Thunvik, Debashis Chatterjee, Kazi Matin Ahmed, Gunnar Jacks, Arun B. Mukherjee, Jiin Shuh Jean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) enrichment in groundwater has become a major global environmental disaster. Groundwater samples were collected from 64 sites located in the districts of 24-Parganas (S), and Nadia in West Bengal, India (Bhagirathi sub-basin), and 51 sites located in the districts of Comilla, Noakhali, Magura, Brahman baria, Laxmipur, Munshiganj, Faridpur and Jhenaida in Bangladesh (Padma-Meghna sub-basin). Groundwater samples were also collected from two As-affected areas (Chianan and Lanyang plains) of Taiwan (n = 26). The concentrations of major solutes in groundwater of the Padma-Meghna sub-basin are more variable than the Bhagirathi sub-basin, suggesting variations in the depositional and hydrological settings. Arsenic concentrations in groundwaters of the studied areas showed large variations, with mean As concentrations of 125 μg/L (range: 0.20 to 1,301 μg/L) in Bhagirathi sub-basin, 145 μg/L (range: 0.20 to 891 μg/L) in Padma-Meghna sub-basin, 209 μg/L (range: 1.3 to 575 μg/L) in Chianan plain, and 102 μg/L (range: 2.5 to 348 μg/L) in Lanyang plain groundwater. The concentrations of Fe, and Mn are also highly variable, and are mostly above the WHO-recommended guideline values and local (Indian and Bangladeshi) drinking water standard. Piper plot shows that groundwaters of both Bhagirathi and Padma-Meghna sub-basins are of Ca-HCO 3 type. The Chianan plain groundwaters are of Na-Cl type, suggesting seawater intrusion, whereas Lanyang plain groundwaters are mostly of Na-HCO 3 type. The study shows that reductive dissolution of Fe(III)-oxyhydroxides is the dominant geochemical process releasing As from sediment to groundwater in all studied areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1176
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering

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