Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Assessment of groundwater quality using factor analysis in Mararaba-mubi area, Northeastern Nigeria

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  • Abstract

    Analytical results of 23 water samples from surface water and groundwater reveal that the surface water is contaminated by nitrate. The mean concentration of nitrate from the surface water samples is 106 mg/l. The results further reveal that the different water sources are contaminated with respect to phosphate and coliform bacteria. Phosphate concentrations reveal a mean value of 19.6 mg/l in the surface water and a mean value of 13 mg/l in the groundwater samples. Coliform reveal an average of 9 in the surface water and an average of 25 number counts in the groundwater samples. The major fault zone in the area is responsible for the contaminant migration. Correlation between the chemical parameters reveal strong to perfect correlation, moderate and weak correlation. The correlation between coliform and chemical parameters indicates negative correlation. Principal component analysis on the chemical parameters reveals three factors (1, 2 and 3) that account for about 76.04% of the total variance. The plotting of the factor loadings reveals that natural mineralization, denitrification and sulphate reduction are the major processes responsible for the modification of the groundwater chemistry in the area.