Spatio-temporal variation in the hydrochemistry of Tawa River, Central India: effect of natural and anthropogenic factors
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Tawa River is the biggest left bank tributary of the Narmada, the largest west-flowing river of the Indian peninsula. Central India enjoys a tropical climate, is highly urbanized, and the river flow is mostly controlled by monsoon; a large part of the population depend on rivers for their livelihood. Spatial and temporal variations in the hydrochemistry of the Tawa River were studied based on seasonal sampling along the course of the river and its tributaries. The study is important because not much data exist on small size rivers and the river processes spell out correctly in smaller basins. The monsoon season accounts for more than 70 % of river water flow. The basin is characterized by silicate lithology; however, water chemistry is controlled by carbonate-rich soils and other weathering products of the silicate rocks, as indicated by the high (Ca + Mg)/(Na + K) ratios (>3.8). The values of the Na-normalized ratios of Ca2+, Mg2+, and HCO3 − suggest that both the carbonate and silicate lithology contribute to the hydrochemistry. On average, 42 % of HCO3 − in the Tawa River water is contributed by silicate weathering and 58 % from carbonate lithology. The water remains undersaturated with respect to calcite during the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons and supersaturated during the pre-monsoon season. A significant influence of mining in the basin and other industrial units is observed in water chemical composition.
KeywordsTropical rivers Tawa River Hydrochemistry Monsoon Spatial and temporal variation Anthropogenic influence
The study was supported through funds from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (grant no. SR/S4/ES-431/2009). We are greatly indebted to the two anonymous reviewers, whose comments improved the manuscript considerably. Sincere gratitude is expressed towards the Editorial Team for their time and effort in bringing the manuscript to the published stage. Thanks are due to Dr. Harish Gupta for sharing river discharge and water quality information procured from CWC and to Mr. Pratik Sayare and Mr. Bishnu Prasad Mishra towards help in drafting of figures. The enjoyable company and help rendered by Mr. Vijay in field and laboratory are gratefully acknowledged. The work formed part of Integrated M Tech dissertation of Ashwini Mehto submitted to IIT Roorkee.
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