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The Groundwater Flow, Chemistry and Pollutant Distribution in the Bengal Basin, Bangladesh and India

  • Madhumita Chakraborty
  • Abhijit MukherjeeEmail author
  • Kazi Matin Ahmed
Chapter
Part of the Springer Hydrogeology book series (SPRINGERHYDRO)

Abstract

The Bengal basin, situated along the Indo-Bangladesh border, forms the world’s largest fluvio-deltaic basin and holds one of the most productive aquifer systems of the world, serving for about 2% of the world population living in the basin. On a basinal scale, the hydrostratigraphy represents a single continuous aquifer, which is broken into poorly connected multi-layered system by numerous discontinuous aquitards towards the south. Regionally, groundwater flows from north to south along hierarchical flow paths, which at places are interrupted by local flow systems due to extensive groundwater abstractions. The groundwater of the basin is dominantly Ca–HCO3 type, showing signatures of meteoric recharge altered by various biogeochemical processes controlled by the aquifer redox states. In spite of the abundance of freshwater in the BAS, it exhibits the presence of various ions above the permissible limits, resulting in groundwater contamination. The most toxic and widespread contaminant in the basin groundwater is arsenic, derived from the aquifer sediments. Although arsenic release is a geogenic process, anthropogenic activities such as heavy groundwater abstractions, use of fertilisers and contamination from sewage may contribute to its release.

Keywords

Bengal basin Groundwater flow Groundwater chemistry Arsenic pollution 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madhumita Chakraborty
    • 1
  • Abhijit Mukherjee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kazi Matin Ahmed
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)—KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)—KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Applied Policy Advisory To Hydrogeosciences GroupIIT KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Department of GeologyUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

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