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Hydrogeochemical analysis and identification of solute sources in the meltwater of Chaturangi glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, India

Bisht, H and Kotlia, BS and Kumar, K and Taloor, AK and Arya, PC and Sah, SK and Agnihotri, V and Tewari, M and Upadhyay, R (2022) Hydrogeochemical analysis and identification of solute sources in the meltwater of Chaturangi glacier, Garhwal Himalaya, India. In: Applied Water Science, 12 (3).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13201-021-01510-5


This paper presents an insight on major ion chemistry and identification of solute sources in meltwater of Chaturangi glacier throughout the ablation period 2015 and 2016. The results indicate that meltwater is slightly acidic with Ca�HCO3 and Mg�HCO3 dominated hydrochemical facies. In meltwater, Ca2+ and HCO3� are the most dominant cation and anion, respectively. The Water Quality Index values show that the quality of meltwater is good for both the ablation seasons. An important factor governing the quality of water is the residence time for dissolving minerals from the rocks. Mineralogy of surrounding rocks and Gibbs plot suggest that the meltwater ionic concentration is mostly controlled by weathering of rocks with slight contribution from atmospheric aerosols. For meltwater, the average equivalent ratios of Na/Cl and K/Cl were calculated as 3.36 ± 1.29 and 2.29 ± 0.62 in 2015 and 1.39 ± 0.6 and 0.8 ± 0.2 in 2016, which are considerably higher than the marine aerosols (Na/Cl = 0.85 and K/Cl = 0.017), it also confirmed the less contribution of atmospheric input in meltwater. The petrographic analysis of surrounding rocks indicate positive relationship among the cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+ and K+) and mineral abundance. Our observations suggest that the bedrock mineralogy and weathering reactions together with amount and composition of atmospheric inputs are the main sources of ions, dissolved in the glacier meltwater. It might be due to rate of chemical reaction which leads decomposition of rocks and leaching of minerals into the meltwater. Additionally, the geology of the area plays a significant as the influence of geology and climate on water quality is observed by the quantity and types of dissolved materials and amount of the sediment carried by the streams. The elevated proportion of Ca + Mg in total cations and high Ca + Mg/(Na + K ratios, 1.47 ± 0.14 in the year 2015 and 1.44 ± 0.28 in 2016 clearly reveal that the ionic composition is primarily controlled by carbonate weathering and partly by silicate weathering. Further, the low Na + K/TZ� ratio (0.41 ± 0.02) and (0.22 ± 0.05) in 2015 and 2016, respectively also supports that carbonate weathering is main geochemical process controlling the hydrochemistry of meltwater. In addition, the ion denudation rate was calculated for both the years. The results show that the cation denudation rate of meltwater was 32.84 and 22.30 ton/km2/ablation during 2015 and 2016, respectively, whereas the anion denudation rate was found to be 205.43 in 2015 and 170.24 ton/km2/ablation in 2016. © 2022, The Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Applied Water Science
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Authors
Keywords: Ablation; Atmospheric aerosols; Atmospheric chemistry; Atmospheric thermodynamics; Chemical analysis; Dissolution; Geology; Hydrochemistry; Minerals; Positive ions; Quality control; Rocks; Silicates; Water quality, Atmospheric inputs; Ca 2+; Carbonate weathering; Chaturangi glacier; Chemical weathering; Denudation rates; Hydro geochemistries; Hydrogeochemical analysis; Surrounding rock; Water quality indexes, Weathering
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 06:06
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 06:06
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/71439

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