Using spatial statistics to identify the uranium hotspot in groundwater in the mid-eastern Gangetic plain, India

  • Deepak KumarEmail author
  • Anshuman Singh
  • Rishi Kumar Jha
  • Sunil Kumar Sahoo
  • Vivekanand Jha
Original Article


The occurrence of uranium in groundwater is of particular interest due to its toxicological and radiological properties. It has been considered as a relevant contaminant for drinking water even at a low concentration. Uranium is a ubiquitously occurring radionuclide in the environment. Four hundred and fifty-six (456) groundwater samples from different locations of five districts of South Bihar (SB) were collected and concentrations of uranium (U) were analyzed using a light-emitting diode (LED) fluorimetric technique. Uranium concentrations in groundwater samples varied from 0.1 µg l−1 to 238.2 µg l−1 with an average value of 12.3 µg l−1 in five districts of Bihar in the mid-eastern Gangetic plain. This study used hot spot spatial statistics to identify the distribution of elevated uranium concentration in groundwater. The hypothesis whether spatial distribution of high value and low value of U is more likely spatially clustered due to random process near a uranium hotspot in groundwater was tested based on z score and Getis-Ord Gi* statistics. The method implemented in this study, can be utilized in the field of risk assessment and decision making to locate potential areas of contamination.


LED fluorimeter Groundwater Uranium Getis-Ord Gi* statistic Hot spot analysis 



This work was supported by Board of Research and Nuclear Sciences under Department of Atomic Energy, India by providing financial assistance under the National Uranium project (NUP) (BRNS Project Ref. No.: 36(4)/14/10/2014-BRNS). Authors are also profoundly grateful to the associate editors for their careful reading of our manuscript and their many insightful comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript. We also thank the National Institute of Technology, Patna for their support in carrying out the experimental work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of Technology PatnaPatnaIndia
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsNational Institute of Technology PatnaPatnaIndia
  3. 3.Environmental Assessment DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreMumbaiIndia

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