Hydrogeochemical Evolution and Groundwater Flow in the Densu River Basin, Ghana


Groundwater resources play a crucial role in the domestic and industrial water delivery system in Ghana. Hydrochemical and multivariate statistical techniques were used to investigate groundwater flow and geochemical evolution in the Densu River Basin aquifer system in Ghana. The hydrochemical and multivariate statistical techniques are mutually supportive and extracted information was analysed together with environmental isotope data. The results reveal three spatial groundwater bodies with defined hydrochemical facies, residence times, stable isotopic signals and hydrochemical evolution. The zones are designated as group one in the northern portion, group two in the transmission zone and group three as discharge in the southern portion of the catchment. Some of the stable isotope data of the groundwater do not lie close to the local meteoric water line (LMWL) on the δD-δ18O plot and thus indicate that the meteoric water recharging the groundwater system has undergone some degree of evaporation.

Share and Cite:

D. Adomako, A. Gibrilla, T. Akiti, R. Fianko and P. Maloszewski, "Hydrogeochemical Evolution and Groundwater Flow in the Densu River Basin, Ghana," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2011, pp. 548-561. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2011.37065.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Water Research Institute, “Borehole Yield Map of Gha- na,” Water Research Institute, Accra, 1994.
[2] S. Dapaah-Siakwan and P. Gyau-Boakye, “Hydro- chemical Framework and Borehole Yields in Ghana,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 8, 2000, pp. 845-852.
[3] N. S. Rao, “Seasonal Variation of Groundwater Quality in a Part of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh,” En- vironmental Geology, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2006, pp. 413-429. doi:10.1007/s00254-005-0089-9
[4] T. Helstrup, N. O. J?rgensen and B. Banoeng-Yakubo, “Investigation of Hydrochemical Characteristics of Grou- ndwater from the Cretaceous-Eocene Limestone Aquifer in Southern Ghana and Southern Togo Using Hierarchical Cluster Analysis,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 15, No. 5, 2007, pp. 977-989. doi:10.1007/s10040-007-0165-1
[5] W. M. Edmunds and P. Shand, “Groundwater Baseline Quality,” In: W. M. Edmunds and P. Shand, Eds., Natural Groundwater Quality, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Malden, 2008, pp. 1-21.
[6] C. Kendal, J. J. McDonnell, “Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology,” USGS. Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, 1998.
[7] K. Didane, L. Bouchaou, Y. Hsissou and M. Krimissa, “Hydrochemical and Isotopic Characteristics of Grou- ndwater in the Souss Upstream Basin, Southwestern Morocco,” Journal of African Earth Sciences, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2003, pp. 315-327. doi:10.1016/S0899-5362(03)00050-2
[8] H. Suk and K. K. Lee, “Characterization of Hydrochemi- cal System through Multivariate Analysis: Clustering into Zones,” Groundwater, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1999, pp. 358-366. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.1999.tb01112.x
[9] F. Sanchez-Martos, R. Jimenez-Espinosa and A. Pulido- -Bosch, “Mapping Groundwater Quality Variables Using PCA and Geostatistics: A Case Study of Bajo Andrax, Southeastern Spain,” Hydrological Science, Vol. 46, No. 2, 2001, pp. 227-242. doi:10.1080/02626660109492818
[10] M. Demile, S. Wohnlich, F. Wisotzky and B. Gizaw, “Groundwater Recharge, Flow and Hydrogeochemical Evolution in a Complex Volcanic Aquifer System, Cen- tral Ethiopia,” Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 15, No. 6, 2007, pp.1169-1181. doi:10.1007/s10040-007-0163-3
[11] Y. Wang, T. Ma and Z. Luo, “Geostatistical and Geochemical Analysis of Surface Water Leakage into Groundwater on Regional Scale: A Case Study in the Liulin Karst System, Northwestern China,” Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 246, No. 1-4, 2001, pp. 223-234.
[12] K. L. Locksey and M. E. Cox, “Statistical and Hydrochemical Methods to Compare Basalt and Basement Ro- ck-Hosted Groundwaters: Atheron Tablelands, Northeastern Australia,” Environmental Geology, Vol. 43, No. 6, 2003, pp. 698-713.
[13] W. D. Alberto, D. M. del Pilar, A. M. Valeria, P. S. Fabiana, H. A. Cecilia and B. des los Angles, “Patterns Recognition Techniques for the Evaluation of Spatial and Temporal Variations in Water Quality, a Case Study: Suquia River Basin (Cordoba-Argentina),” Water Re- sources, Vol. 35, No. 12, 2001, pp. 2881-2894. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(00)00592-3
[14] B. Helena, R. Pardo, M. Vega, E. Barrado, J. M. Fernandez and L. Fernandez, “Temporal Evolution of Gro- undwater Composition in an Alluvial Aquifer (Pissuerga River, Spain) by Principal Component Analysis,” Water Resources, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2000, pp. 807-816. doi:10.1016/S0043-1354(99)00225-0
[15] H. G. Pereira, S. Renca and J. Sataiva, “A Case Study on Geochemical Anomaly Identification through Principal Component Analysis Supplementary Projection,” Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2003, pp. 37-44. doi:10.1016/S0883-2927(02)00099-9
[16] N. Consult, “Rapid Environmental Assessment and Action Planning of Densu River Basin in Ghana,” A Consulting Report, A United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat) and Water Resources Commission of Ghana Funded, Accra, March 2001.
[17] K. B. Dickson and G. Benneh, “A New Geography of Ghana,” Longman Group UK Limited, Harlow, 1998, pp. 27-52.
[18] N. R. Junner, “Gold in the Gold Coast,” Gold Coast Geological Survey, Vol. 4, 1935, p. 67.
[19] N. R. Junner, “Geology of the Gold Coast and Western Togoland. Geological,” Survey Bulletin, Vol. 16, No. 11, 1940, pp. 5-10.
[20] A. Leube and W. Hirdes, “The Birimian Supergroup of Ghana—Depositional Environment, Structural Devel- opment and Conceptual Model of an Early Proterozoic Suite,” Rep. Arch. BGR, 99529, 1986, p. 260.
[21] H. E. Gill, “A Groundwater Reconnaissance of the Republic of Ghana, with a Description of Geo Hydrologic Provinces,” Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1757- -K, Washington, 1969.
[22] Water Research Institute, “Groundwater Resources Asse- ssment of Ghana,” Water Research Institute/Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Accra, 1999.
[23] P. K. Darko and J. Krásny, “Regional Transmissivity Distribution and Groundwater Potential in Hard Rocks of Ghana,” In: J. Krásny, Z. Hrkal and J. Bruthans, Eds., Groundwater in Fractured Rocks, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, 2003. pp. 45-46.
[24] P. G. Cook, “A Guide to Regional Groundwater Flow in Fractured Rock Aquifers,” Seaview Press, Henley Beach, 2003.
[25] Water Resources Research Institute, “Groundwater Asse- ssment: An element of integral Water Resources Mana- gement-The Case of the Densu River Basin,” 2003.
[26] R. A. Freeze and J. A. Cherry, “Groundwater,” Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1979.
[27] S. Epstein and T. K. Mayeda, “Variations of 18O Content of Waters from Natural Sources,” Geochimica et Cos- mochimica Acta, Vol. 4, No. 5, 1953, pp. 213-224. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(53)90051-9
[28] M. L. Coleman, T. J. Shepherd, J. J. Durham, J. E. Rouse and G. R. Moore, “Reduction of Water with Zinc for Hydrogen Isotope Analysis,” Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 54, No. 6, 1982, pp. 993-995. doi:10.1021/ac00243a035
[29] T. B. Coplen, “Normalization of Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Data,” Chemical Geology, Vol. 72, 1988, pp. 293-297.
[30] C. Güler, G. D. Thyne, E. J. McCray and A. K. Turner, “Evaluation of Graphical and Multivariate Statistical Methods for Classification of Water Chemistry Data,” Hydrogeology Journal, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2002, pp. 455-474. doi:10.1007/s10040-002-0196-6
[31] C. E. Brown, “Applied Multivariate Statistics in Geohy- drology and Related Sciences,” Springer, Berlin, 1998, p. 248.
[32] J. H. Ward, “Hierarchical Groupings to Optimize an Objective Function,” Journal of American Statistical Association, Vol 58, No. 301, 1963, pp. 236-244.
[33] B. A. Helena, M. Vega, E. Barrado, R. Pardo and L. Fernandez, “A Case of Hydrochemical Characterization of Alluvial Aquifer Influenced by Human Activities,” Water Air and Soil Pollution, Vol. 112, No. 3-4, 1999, pp. 365-387.
[34] R. P. Ashley and J. W. Lloyd, “An Example of the Use of Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis in Groundwater Chemistry Interpretation,”Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 39, No. 3-4, 1978, pp. 335-364.
[35] S. X. Meng and J. B. Maynard, “Use of Statistical Analysis to Formulate Conceptual Models of Geoche- mical Behavior: Water Chemical Data from the Botucatu Aquifer in S?o Paulo State, Brazil,”Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 250, No. 1-4, 2001, pp. 78-97.
[36] R. E. Williams, “Statistical Identification of Hydraulic Connections between the Surface of a Mountain and Internal Mineralized Sources,” Ground Water, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1982, pp. 466-478. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.1982.tb02767.x
[37] J.-H. Kim, R.-H. Kim, J. Lee, T.-J. Cheong, B.-W. Yum and H.-W. Chang, “Multivariate Ststistical Analysis to Identify the Major Factors Governing Groundwater Quality in the Coastal Area of Kimje, South Korea,” Hydrological Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2005, pp. 1261- 1276. doi:10.1002/hyp.5565
[38] C. Güler and G. D. Thyne “Hydrologic and Geologic Factors Controlling Surface and Groundwater Chemistry in Indian Wells-Owens Valley Area, Southern California, USA,”Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 285, No. 1-4, 2004, pp. 177-198.
[39] R. A. Johnson and D. W. Wichern, “Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis,” 3rd Edition, Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs,1992.
[40] O. Vaseli, A. Buccianti, C. De Siena, N. Coradossi and M. Angelone, “Geochemical Characterisation of Ophiolitic Soils in a Temperate Climate; a Multivariate Statistical Approach,” Geoderma, Vol. 75, No. 1-2, 1997, pp. 117- 123.
[41] S. Swanson, J. Bahr, M. Schwar and K. Potter, “Two- -Way Cluster Analysis of Geochemical Data to Constrain Spring Source Waters,” Chemical Geology, Vol. 179, No. 1-4, 2001, pp. 73-91.
[42] J. Taboada, A. Vaamonle, A. Saavedra and L. Alejano, “Application of Geostatistical Techniques to Exploitation Planning in Slate Quarries,”Engineering Geology, Vol. 47, No. 3, 1997, pp. 269-277. doi:10.1016/S0013-7952(97)00024-0
[43] H. F. Kaiser, “An Index of Functional Simplicity,” Psy- chometrika, Band 39.S, 1974, pp. 31-36.
[44] L. Plummer, J. Busby, R. Lee and B. Hanshaw, “Geochemical Modeling of the Madison Aquifer in Parts of Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota,” Water Resource Research, Vol. 26, No. 9, 1990, pp. 1981-2014.
[45] W. M. Edmunds and P. Smedley, “Residence Time Indi- cators in Groundwater: The East Midlands Triassic Sand- stone Aquifer,” Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 15, No. 6, 2000, pp. 737-752. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2003.08.019
[46] S. Adams, G. Tredoux, C. Harris, R. Titus and K. Pietersen, “Hydrochemical Characteristics of Aquifers near Sutherland in the Western Karoo, South Africa,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 241, No. 1-2, 2001, pp. 91-103.
[47] A. L. Herczeg and T. E. Payne, “Recharge and Weathering Processes in Fractured Rock Aquifers in Northern Australia,” In: Y. Kharaka and A. E. Maest, Eds., Water-Rock Interaction, Balkema, Rotterdam, 1992, pp. 561-564.
[48] T. Coplen, A. L. Herczeg and C. Barnes, “Isotope Engi- neering-Using Stable Isotopes of the Water Molecule to Solve Practical Problems,” In: P.G. Cook and A. L. Her- czeg, Eds., Environmental Tracers in Subsurface Hydro- logy, Kluwer Academic Pubs, Boston, 2000, pp. 79-110.
[49] T. T. Akiti, “Geochemical and Isotopic Studies of Gro- undwater in Upper West Region of Ghana,” Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Universitié de Paris Sud, Paris, 1980.
[50] I. I. Chebotarev, “Metamorphism of Neutral Water in the Crust of Weathering,” Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 8, 1955, pp. 22-48, 137-170, 192-212.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.