Identification of the Source Mineral Releasing Arsenic in the Groundwater of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, India

  • Pooja Goel
Living reference work entry


Indo-Gangetic alluvium is the largest alluvial plain in the world and from few decades the problem of arsenic is highlighted in the area. The higher content of arsenic in groundwater used for drinking purpose causes arsenicosis which later become carcinogenesis. Ghazipur district is part of newer alluvium and is an area centrally located in this gangetic alluvium. Very high content of arsenic is noted in the groundwater of this area and the people are using this water for their drinking and domestic purposes. As a consequence of this they are seriously suffering from the arsenicosis. Thus to understand the source mineral for the release of arsenic in the groundwater sedimentological, mineralogical, and chemical study has been undertaken for the sediments through XRD and XRF analysis. It can be concluded from these studies that the source mineral for the releasing arsenic in the groundwater of the area is arsenolite (As2O3).


Arsenic contamination Groundwater Ghazipur district Uttar Pradesh Indo-Gangetic alluvium Source mineral Arsenolite XRD 


  1. Acharyya SK, Shah BA (2004) Risk of arsenic contamination in groundwater affecting Ganga Alluvial Plain, India. Environ Health Perspect 112:A19–A20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acharyya SK, Chakraborty P, Lahiri S, Raymahashay BC, Guha S, Bhowmik A (1999) Comment on Nickson et al. 1998. Nature 401:545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Acharyya SK, Lahiri S, Raymahashay BC, Bhowmik A (2000) Arsenic toxicity of groundwater in parts of the Bengal basin in India and Bangladesh: the role of quaternary stratigraphy and Holocene sea-level fluctuation. Environ Geol 39(10):1127–1137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhattacharya P, Chatterjee D, Jacks G (1996) Options to safeguard groundwater from arseniferous aquifers in West Bengal, India. In: Pickford J, House S, Miles D, Ockelford J, Parr J, Saywell D, Shaw R, Skinner B, Smout I, Stear R Reaching the unreached-challenges for the 21st century. In: Proceedings of the 22nd WEDC conference, New Delhi, pp 258–261Google Scholar
  5. Bhattacharya P, Chatterjee D, Jacks G (1997) Occurrence of arsenic contaminated groundwater in alluvial aquifers from delta plains, eastern India: options for safe drinking water supply. Int J Water Resour Dev 13(1):79–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chakraborti D, Mukherjee SC, Pati S, Sengupta MK, Rahman MM, Chowdhury UK, Dilip Lodh D, Chanda CR, Chakraborti AK, Basu GK (2003) Arsenic groundwater contamination in Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar, India: a future danger. Environ Health Perspect 111(9):1194–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Garai R, Chakraborti AK, Dey SB, Saha KC (1984) Chronic arsenic poisoning from tubewell water. J Indian Med Assoc 82(1):34–35Google Scholar
  8. Hakim A, Singh N, Baranwal M (2001) Evolution of structure of Ganga basin in Lucknow Kanpur area based on gravity, magnetic and resistivity surveys. Geol Soc India Sp Issue 65(III):131–135Google Scholar
  9. Kumar G (2003) Quaternary stratigraphy of the Indo-Gangetic plain, India. A review. In: Proceedings of 4th South Asia Geology Congress (GEOSAS IV), New Delhi, Geological Survey of India, pp 31–50Google Scholar
  10. Kumar S, Singh IB (1978) Sedimentological study of Gomati River sediments, Uttar Pradesh, India. Example of a river in alluvial plain. Senckenberg Marit 10(4/6):145–211Google Scholar
  11. Kumar G, Khanna PC, Prasad S (1996) Sequence stratigraphy of the foredeep and evolution of of the Indo-Gangetic plain, Uttar Pradesh. Proceedings of symposium NW Himalaya and Foredeep. Geol Surv India Spec Publ 21:173–207Google Scholar
  12. Mallick S, Rajagopal NR (1996) Groundwater development in the arsenic-affected alluvial belt of West Bengal-some questions. Curr Sci 70:956–958Google Scholar
  13. Mandal BK, Roy CT, Samanta G, Basu GK, Chowdhary PP, Chanda CR, Lodh D, Karan NK, Dhar RK, Tamili DK, Das D, Saha KC, Chakraborti D (1996) Arsenic in groundwater in seven districts of West Bengal, India: the biggest arsenic calamity in the world. Curr Sci 70(11):976–986Google Scholar
  14. Nesbit HW, Fedo CM, Young GM (1997) Quartz and Feldspar stability, steady and non-steady state weathering and petrogenesis of siliciclastic sands and muds. ‎J Geol 105:173–191Google Scholar
  15. Ohno K, Furukawa A, Hayashi K, Magra Y (2005) Arsenic contamination of groundwater in Nawabganj, Bangladesh, focusing on the relationship with other metals and ions. Water Sci Technol 52(8):87–94Google Scholar
  16. PHED (1991) National drinking water mission submission project on arsenic pollution in groundwater in West Bengal. Final report, compiled by steering committee, arsenic investigation project, Public Health Engineering Department, Government of West BengalGoogle Scholar
  17. Saha KC (1984) Melanokeratosis from arsenic contaminated tubewell water. Indian J Dermatol 29(4):37–46Google Scholar
  18. Saha AK, Chakraborti C, De S (1997) Studies of genesis of arsenic in groundwater in parts of West Bengal. Indian Soc Earth Sci 24:1–5Google Scholar
  19. Saxena VK, Kumar S, Singh VS (2004) Occurrence, behaviour and speciation of arsenic in groundwater. Curr Sci 86(2):281–284Google Scholar
  20. Sengupta S, Mukherjee PK, Pal T, Shome S (2004) Nature and origin of arsenic carries in shallow aquifer sediments of Bengal Delta, India. Environ Geol 45(8):1071–1081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Singh IB (1992) Geological evolution of Gangetic Plain: present status. Gangetic Plain: Tera Incognita pp 1–14Google Scholar
  22. Singh IB (2001a) Proxy records of neotectonics, climate changes and anthropogenic activity in the late quaternary of Ganga plain. National symposium role of earth science in integrated development and related societal issues. Geol Surv India Spec Publ 65:xxxiii–xxxxIxGoogle Scholar
  23. Singh KN (2001b) Challanges and strategies in Geoscientific studies of the soil in U. P. J Geol Soc India Sp Issue 65(III):95–99Google Scholar
  24. Singh IB (2008) Inception, sedimentation and deformation of Ganga Foreland Basin. Himal Geol 29(3):103Google Scholar
  25. Singh IB, Ansari AA, Chandel RS, Misra A (1996) Neotectonic control on drainage sysem in Gangetic plain, Uttar Pradesh. J Geol Soc India 47:599–609Google Scholar
  26. Smedley PL, Kinniburgh DG (2002) A review of the source, behaviour and distribution of arsenic in natural waters. Appl Geochem 17:517–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pooja Goel
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Study in GeologyUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations