Identification of Sources and Mobilization of Trace Elements in Shallow Groundwater of the Upper Ganges River Basin


  • Md. Shajedul Islam Associate Professor, Chemistry; Govt. HSS College, Magura 6700.
  • M. G. Mostafa Institute of Environmental Science, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
  • Muhammad Touseef Guangxi Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Engineering Safety, Nanning 530004, China



Aquifer basement, Geogenic process, Groundwater, Multivariate analysis, Rock weathering, Toxicity


The concentration of trace metals in groundwater is still not within the usual standards established by the national and international monitoring authorities. This study aims to evaluate the sources and distribution of trace metals in the shallow aquifer water of the Ganges River basin in the Bangladesh area. A total of 40 groundwater samples were collected and investigated for 11 trace elements and some selected water parameters followed by sophisticated methods. The results presented that three metals, viz. Fe, Mn, and Pb crossed the limit of WHO standard in most of the samples (70-100%), representing severe human health hazards. Besides, the samples are slightly acidic to basic and highly mineralized by divalent cations and bicarbonate because total hardness was found very high. To assess factors affecting the trace metal loads in groundwater samples and determine their possible sources and mobility, multivariate statistical techniques, including Pearson’s correlation coefficient, principal components analysis, and dendrogram cluster analysis are performed. Results revealed that sources of trace elements were identified to be geologic and little from human activities, i.e., application of agrochemicals, excess water mining, and industrial wastewater. It was recognized that the elevated concentration of trace elements in samples was caused by geogenic factors rather than manmade activities. Groundwater in this area poses a large threat due to high levels of trace metals, without any purification, it is essential to avoid this water for drinking. It advised that the groundwater quality should be constantly monitored for sustainable water quality management in the study zone.

Additional Files


DOI: 10.56946/jce.v1i02.94

How to Cite

Islam, M. S., Mostafa, M. G., & Touseef, M. (2023). Identification of Sources and Mobilization of Trace Elements in Shallow Groundwater of the Upper Ganges River Basin. Journal of Chemistry and Environment, 1(02), 14–29.