Tracing groundwater inputs to Bay of Bengal from Sankarabarani River Basin, Pondicherry, India, using continuous radon monitoring

  • K. SrinivasamoorthyEmail author
  • G. Ponnumani
  • R. Prakash
  • S. Gopinath
  • K. Saravanan
  • F. Vinnarasi
Original Paper


Sankarabarani river basin gains importance due to agriculture, an industrial and recreational activity that delivers large groundwater fluxes to the Bay. Attempt has been made by continuous monitoring of radon isotopes to evaluate submarine groundwater discharge with reference to groundwater and surface and pore water samples with distance perpendicular to the coast. 222Rn in groundwater samples were higher (543.0 Bq m−3) signifying major radon sources due to coastal groundwater discharge. Radon mass balance model attempted by considering fluxes like tides, atmospheric emissions, and sediment diffusion suggests higher groundwater and surface water fluxes (7.2 and 20.15 m day−1) near to the coast and higher fluxes (19.7 and 9.7 m day−1) in pore water away from the coast, suggesting influence of hydraulic gradient and radium retention in sediments. The average fresh submarine groundwater discharge calculated accounts 0.88 m day−1, higher in comparison with world studies.


Discharge Groundwater Radon fluxes Surface and pore water 



Submarine groundwater discharge


Recirculated saline groundwater discharge


Submarine fresh groundwater discharge


Above mean sea level






Below ground level


Liter per minute





This work was supported by Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research board (Grant No. EMR/2015/001101), India. The authors thank their lab colleagues and students for their help during the field expeditions.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Srinivasamoorthy
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Ponnumani
    • 1
  • R. Prakash
    • 1
  • S. Gopinath
    • 1
  • K. Saravanan
    • 1
  • F. Vinnarasi
    • 1
  1. 1.Hydrogeology Lab, Department of Earth Sciences, School of Physical, Chemical and Applied SciencesPondicherry UniversityKalapetIndia

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