Evaluation of hydrochemical data using multivariate statistical methods to elucidate heavy metal contamination in shallow aquifers of the Manipur valley in Indo-Myanmar Range

  • Premananda Laishram
  • K. S. KshetrimayumEmail author
Original Paper


Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, correlation matrices, and cluster analysis are used to gain insights on hydrochemical processes and contamination in the shallow aquifers of Manipur valley. Groundwater has remained as a prime source of water supply for a population of nearly 3 million people living in this valley. Sixteen variables (pH, ORP, TDS, Ti, V, Cr, Cu, Ge, As, Rb, Sr, Nb, Mo, Hf, Ta, and W) are monitored from 28 shallow wells. Mean pH and TDS values (6.8 and 800 mg/l, respectively) suggest fresh quality water in terms of its acidity, alkalinity, or salinity. Oxidation reduction potential values (mean − 6.75 mV) indicate dissolution of metals in anoxic condition. The order of abundance of metals is Sr > As > Rb > Ti > Cu > V > Cr > Mo > Ge > W > Hf > Ta > Nb. Sr, As, Cr, Cu, and Mo are elevated than the WHO limit. Elevation of Sr is attributed to weathering of gypsum, evaporite, and rock salt which reflects in factor 5 of the factor analysis. Factors 2 represents Cr, As, and Mo elevations and signifies geogenic weathering from ultramafic rocks of Manipur Ophiolite Melange Zone. Factor 3 represents Rb, V, and Cu elevations owing to natural weathering of clay and Fe-oxyhydroxides along with dissociation of solid organic carbons. Factor 4 is related to a reduced environment under low pH condition. Factor 1 reflects dissolution of Nb, Hf, Ta, and Ti under anoxic environment as insoluble oxides. Analysis on Pearson correlation and hierarchical clustering strongly support observation made by factor analysis. Thus, the present study shows the accountability of multivariate statistical techniques in interpreting and delineating the sources of contaminations in shallow groundwater.


Multivariate statistical methods Heavy metals Contamination Manipur valley 



The authors are thankful to Prof. S. Balakrishnana, Department of Earth Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry, India, for allowing us to carry out the analytical test of water samples at the department. The authors are very grateful to unanimous reviewers and editors for their suggestions to improve the manuscript.

Funding information

This research work was funded by the co-author’s family members.


  1. Abumrad NN, Schneider AJ, Steel D, Rogers LS (1981) Amino acid intolerance during prolonged total parenteral nutrition reversed by molybdate therapy. Am J Clin Nutr 34(11):2551–2559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander GV, Nusbaum RE, MacDonald NS (1954) Strontium and calcium in municipal water supplies. J Am Water Works Assoc 46:643–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Appelo CAJ, Postma D (2005) Geochemistry groundwater and pollution, 2nd Edn. A.A. Balkema Publishers, Leiden/London/New York/Philadelphia/Singapore, p 242Google Scholar
  4. Aradhi K, Krishna AK, Satyanarayanan M, Pradip K, Govil PK (2009) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in water using multivariate statistical techniques in an industrial area: a case study from Patancheru, Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India. J Hazard Mater 167:336–373Google Scholar
  5. Armienta MA, Rodriguez-Castillo R (1995) Environmental exposure to chromium compounds in the valley of Leon, Mexico. Environ Health Perspect 103:47–52Google Scholar
  6. Balaram V (1993) Characterization of trace elements in environmental samples by ICP-MS. At Spectrosc 14:174Google Scholar
  7. Cattell RB (1978) The scientific use of factor analysis in behavioral and life sciences. Plenum Press, New York, p 537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Census (2011) Census of India, Manipur, District census handbook, Series 15, Part XII-B, Directorate of census operations Manipur.
  9. Cloutier V, Lefebvre R, Therrien R, Savard MM (2008) Multivariate statistical analysis of geochemical data as indicative of the hydrogeochemical evolution of groundwater in a sedimentary rock aquifer system. J Hydrol 353:294–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daughney CJ (2005) Spreadsheet for automatic processing of water quality data: theory, use and implementation in excel. Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science Report SR2005/35, Wellington, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis JC (1986) Statistics and data analysis in geology. John Wiley & Sons, New York, p 328Google Scholar
  12. Davis SN, Dewiest RJM (1966) Hydrogeology. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Chichester. Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore, p 444Google Scholar
  13. Dawdy DR, Feth JH (1967) Applications of factor analysis in study of chemistry of groundwater quality, Mojave River valley, California. Water Resour Res 3:505–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Doisy RJ, Streeten DHP, Freiberg JM, Schneider AJ (1976) Chromium metabolism in man and biochemical effects. Trace elements in human health and disease. In: Trace elements in human health and disease, Vol.II Prasad AS (eds), Academic Press, New York, pp. 79–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Farnham MW, Stephenson KK, Fahey JW (2000) The capacity of broccoli to induce a mammalian chemoprotective enzyme varies among inbred lines. J Am Soc Hortic Sci 125:482–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferner DJ (2001) Toxicity, heavy metals. eMedical J 2:1Google Scholar
  17. Fosmire GJ (1990) Zinc toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr 51:225–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Friedrich G, Wilcke J, Marker A (1987) Laterites derived from ultramafic rocks—an important chromite resource. In: Rodrı-guez-Clemente R, Tardy Y (eds) Geochemistry and mineral formation in the earth surface, CSIC, pp. 231–244Google Scholar
  19. Hawkes JS (1997) Heavy metals. J Chem Educ 74:1374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Helena B, Pardo R, Vega M, Barrado E, Ferna’ndez JM, Ferna’ndez L (2000) Temporal evolution of groundwater composition in an alluvial aquifer, Pisuerga River, Spain by principal component analysis. Water Res 34:807–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hutton M, Symon C (1986) The quantities of cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic entering the U.K. environment from human activities. Sci Total Environ 57:129–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnson JL, Hainline BE, Rajagopalan KV (1980) Characterization of the molybdenum cofactor of sulfite oxidase, xanthine, oxidase, and nitrate reductase. Identification of a pteridine as a structural component. J Biol Chem 255:1783–1786Google Scholar
  23. Khatiwada NR, Takizawa S, Tran TVN, Inoue M (2002) Groundwater contamination assessment for sustainable water supply in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Water Sci Technol 46:147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krishna AK, Satyanarayanan M, Govil PK (2009) Assessment of heavy metal pollution in water using multivariate statistical techniques in an industrial area: a case study from Patancheru, Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India. J Hazard Mater 167: 366–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Krumbein WC, Graybill FA (1965) An introduction to statistical methods in geology. McGraw Hill, NY, p 475Google Scholar
  26. Lenntech Water Treatment and Air Purification (2004) Water treatment. publish by Lenntech, Rotterdamseweg, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  27. Massart DL, Kaufman L (1983) The interpretation of analytical chemical data by the use of cluster analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p, New York, p 256Google Scholar
  28. McCluggage D (1991) Heavy metal poisoning, NCS magazine. Published by The Bird Hospital, CO, U.S.A.Google Scholar
  29. Mencio A, Mas-Pla J (2008) Assessment by multivariate analysis of groundwater–surface water interactions in urbanized Mediterranean streams. J Hydrol 252:255–266Google Scholar
  30. Mertz W, Anguino EE, Cannon HL, Hambidge KM, Voors AW (1974) Chromium geochemistry and the environment. Volume I: the relation of selected trace elements to health and disease. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, pp 853–878Google Scholar
  31. Mukherjee B, Balaram P, Mahapatra S, Banerjee P, Tiwari A, Chatterjee M (2004) Vanadium-an element of atypical biological significance. Toxicol Lett 150:135–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ngwuegbu MO Ijioma MA (2003) Effects of Certain Heavy Metals on the Population due to Mineral Exploitation. International Conference on Scientific and Environmental Issues in the Population, Environment and Sustainable Development in Nigeria, University of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, pp. 8-10Google Scholar
  33. Ningthoujam PS, Dubey CS, Guillot S, Fagion AS, Shukla DP (2012) Origin and serpentinization of ultramaphic rocks of Manipur Ophiolite Complex in the Indo-Mynamar Subduction zone, Northeast India. J Asian Earth Sci 50:128–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nolan K (2003) Copper toxicity syndrome. J Orthomol Psychiatry 12:270–282Google Scholar
  35. NRC (2000) National Research Council (US) committee on copper in drinking water. National academic press (US), Washington DC, p 162Google Scholar
  36. Nriagu JO (1989) A global assessment of natural sources of atmospheric trace metals. Nature 338:47–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nriagu JO, Pacyna J (1988) Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soil by trace metals. Nature 333:134–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Richard FC, Bourg ACM (1991) Aqueous geochemistry of chromium: a review. Water Res 25:807–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Royle H (1975) Toxicity of chromic acid in the chromium plating industry. Environ Res 10:39–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Skougstads MW, Horr CA (1963) Occurrence and distribution of strontium in natural water. Geological survey water- supply paper 1946-D, United States Government printing office, Washington, pp. 71 Google Scholar
  41. Smedley PL (1991) The geochemistry of rare earth elements in groundwater from the Carnmenellis area, Southwest England. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 55:2767–2779CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Soibam I (1998) Structural and Tectonic Analysis of Manipur with special reference to evolution of the Imphal Valley. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis of Manipur University, Imphal, pp. 283Google Scholar
  43. Sun SS, McDonough WF (1989) Chemical and isotopic systematic of oceanic basalts: implications for mantle composition and processes. Geol Soc Lond, Spec Publ 42:313–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Swan ARH, Sandilands M (1995) Introduction to geological data analysis. Blackwell Science, Oxford, p 446Google Scholar
  45. Tariq SR, Shah MH, Shaheen N, Khalique A, Manzoor S, Jaffar M (2005) Multivariate analysis of selected metals in tannery effluents and related soil. J Hazard Mater 122:17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tariq SR, Shah MH, Shaheen N, Khalique A, Manzoor S, Jaffar M (2006) Multivariate analysis of trace metal levels in tannery effluents in relation to soil and water- a case study from Peshawar, Pakistan. J Environ Manag 79:20–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vega M, Pardo R, Barrado E, Deban L (1998) Assessment of seasonal and polluting effects on the quality of river water by exploratory data analysis. Water Res 32:3581–3592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wackernagel H (1995) Multivariate geostatistics. An introduction with applications, xiv, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New york, Barcelona, Budapest, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, pp. 256, Scholar
  49. WHO (2010) World Health Organization, guidelines for drinking water quality, 4rd edn. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  50. Yassi A, Nieboer E (1988) Carcinogenicity of chromium compounds. In: Nriagu JO, Nieboer E (eds) Chromium in the natural and human environments. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 443–486Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth ScienceAssam UniversitySilcharIndia

Personalised recommendations