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Groundwater in Southern Vietnam: Understanding geochemical processes to better preserve the critical water resource
31/12/21 08:21AM
Quang Khai Ha, Tien Dung Tran Ngoc, Phu Le Vo, et al. Science of The Total Environment: 151345, 2021.

Abstract: A thorough understanding of groundwater geochemical characteristics and dominant hydro(bio)geochemical processes in the aquifers is valuable for sustainable groundwater protection. With this respect, this study provides a comprehensive assessment of hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater in sedimentary aquifers of the Southern region of Vietnam. The dataset comprised 291 water samples collected in rainy and dry seasons from 155 wells, and their chemical compositions of dissolved ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, HCO3−, Cl−, SO42−, NO3−, NH4+, Fe, total dissolved solids) and pH. We calculated the groundwater quality index to determine the suitability of groundwater for drinking purposes. Accordingly, about 47% of groundwater samples range from poor to unsuitable quality for drinking purposes, in which total dissolved solid (TDS) and high iron concentrations are primary factors. We also examined hydrogeochemical characteristics by multivariate statistical analyses (Hierarchical Cluster Analysis and Principal Component Analysis). The results demonstrated four groups of water: fresh groundwater (TDS < 1 g/L) in the highland (Group 1), lowland fresh-to-saline groundwater (2a), lowland saline groundwater (2b), and lowland saline/acidic groundwater (2c). Although the highland area is currently not impacted by salinization, the contamination by nitrate and chloride associated with a dense urban population and agricultural practices is deteriorating its fresh groundwater resources. On the other hand, the lowland area of Southern Vietnam is highly vulnerable to seawater intrusion (groups 2b and 2c). Only 34% out of 191 samples collected in the lowland area of southern Vietnam remained fresh. In this light, this study depicted the specific geographical location for various groundwater groups in Southern Vietnam. This finding is significant to assist water scientists and decision-makers in implementing targetted groundwater management measures as prevention and protection strategies should be tailored to groundwater geochemical characteristics and the dominant hydro(bio)geochemical processes.

Free full text http://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151345.