The objective of this study was to determine the main controls on the hydrochemistry of groundwater in the study area. Mass balance modeling was used simultaneously with multivariate R-mode hierarchical cluster analysis to determine the significant sources of variation in the hydrochemistry. Two water types have been revealed in this area: (1) waters influenced more significantly by the weathering of silicate minerals from the underlying geology, and are rich in silica, sodium, calcium, bicarbonate, and magnesium ions, and (2) waters that have been influenced by the effects of fertilizers and other anthropogenic activities in the area. Mineral speciation and silicate mineral stability diagrams generated from the data suggest that montmorillonite, probably derived from the incongruent dissolution of feldspars and micas, is the most stable silicate phase in the groundwater. The apparent incongruent weathering of silicate minerals in the groundwater system has led to the enrichment of sodium, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate ions as well as silica, leading to the supersaturation of calcite, aragonite, dolomite and quartz. Stability in the montmorillonite field suggests restricted flow conditions whereby groundwater residence time is relatively high, leading to greater contact of groundwater with the rock to enhance weathering. Cation exchange processes have also been determined to play minor roles in the hydrochemistry.
Additional publication details
Water quality characterization in some birimian aquifers of the Birim Basin, Ghana