Hydrogeochemical evolution and quality assessment of groundwater within the Atankwidi basin: the case of northeastern Ghana

  • M. Anim-GyampoEmail author
  • G. K. Anornu
  • E. K. Appiah-Adjei
  • S. K. Agodzo
Original Paper


The hydrogeochemical evolution and quality assessment of groundwater within the transboundary Atankwidi basin have been carried out in Ghana. Various hydrochemical models and scenarios were employed to ascertain the possible sources, mechanism of mobilization, andthe processes controlling groundwater chemistry from points of recharge to areas of discharge. Analysis of twenty-six (26) groundwater samples showed that all parameters fell within acceptable limits for drinking water except fluoride, conductivity, and total hardness. The dominance of cations and anions was in the order Na ˃ Ca ˃ Mg ˃ K and HCO3 ˃ SO4 ˃ Cl ˃ F ˃ PO4 ˃ NO3. Four groundwater types were identified—Ca-Na-Mg-HCO3 ˃ Na-Ca-Mg-HCO3 ˃ Na-Ca-HCO3 ˃ Ca-Na-HCO3. The major source of chemical evolution in groundwater was water-rock interaction (silicate minerals) with infiltrating carbonic acid as the agent of weathering resulting in the release of Na, Ca, K, and HCO3. Cationic exchange between alkali metals and alkaline earth metals is the main chemical process altering groundwater chemistry, resulting in mobilization of Ca and the consumption of Na at favorable sites as groundwater approaches discharge points. There is possibly little or insignificant contribution from anthropogenic factors to the build-up of groundwater chemistry in the study area.


Atankwidi basin Groundwater Hydrogeochemistry Cationic exchange Water quality 



The authors wish to express their profound gratitude to the World Bank and the Government of Ghana for financial sponsorship through the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK) under the Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) project. The authors are also very grateful to Mr. Bernard Hemans of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University for Development Studies and the staff of the Environmental Chemistry Department at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra for their tremendous support during groundwater sampling, data collection, and analysis. Furthermore, we wish to clearly state that the views expressed in this article are purely those of the authors and do not reflect those of the World Bank, The Government of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Anim-Gyampo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • G. K. Anornu
    • 2
  • E. K. Appiah-Adjei
    • 3
  • S. K. Agodzo
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geological Science and Faculty of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity for Development StudiesNavrongoGhana
  2. 2.Civil Engineering Department, College of EngineeringKNUST, PMBKumasiGhana
  3. 3.Department of Geological Engineering, College of EngineeringKNUST, PMBKumasiGhana
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of EngineeringKNUST, PMBKumasiGhana

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