Hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater from the two main aquifers in the Red River Delta, Vietnam

In the Red River Delta, situated in the northern part of Vietnam, nearly its entire population depends solely on groundwater for daily water consumptions. For this reason, groundwater quality assessments must be carefully carried out using hydrogeochemical properties, to ensure effective groundwater resource planning for the Delta’s present and future groundwater use. In this study, the spatial and seasonal changes in the hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater in the two main aquifers of the RRD were investigated by analyzing the physicochemical data obtained in 2011 from 31 conjunctive wells in the Delta’s Holocene unconfined aquifer (HUA) and Pleistocene confined aquifer (PCA) using the Piper diagram and the Gibbs diagram. Results of the data analysis show that the groundwater in both aquifers in the upstream area of the delta is dominated by the [Ca2+–HCO3] water-type, while the [Na+–Cl] dominates along the middle-stream and downstream areas. Seasonal changes in the hydrogeochemical facies in both aquifers, comparing the results for the dry and the rainy seasons, were detected in about one third of the sampling wells, which were mainly located at the upstream portion of the Delta. The hydrogeochemical facies of HUA were different from that of PCA by about 45% of the sampling wells in both the dry and the rainy seasons, which were found mostly in the upstream and middle-stream areas.

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