Assessment of major ionic compositions and anthropogenic influences in the rainwater over a coal mining environment of Damodar River basin, India

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Environmental Science & Engineering, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad-826004, Jharkhand, India

2 Environmental Management Group, CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad-826015, Jharkhand, India



In the present study, 45 rainwater samples were collected from February to December 2012 on event basis in East Bokaro coal mining environment. Physico-chemical and major ionic compositions of rainwater samples as well as water soluble major ion composition were analyzed to employ principle component analysis for source identification. The average pH value was recorded 6.1 and varied from 5.1 to 6.9 in the collected rainwater samples, indicating slightly acidic to alkaline in nature. The rainwater chemistry of the region showed high contribution of HCO3- (32%) followed by SO42- (30%), Cl- (20%), NO3- (15%) and F- (3%) in anionic abundance. In case of major cations, Ca2+ (29%) was dominant followed by Mg2+ (27%), NH4+ (22%), Na+ (18%) and K+ (4%). The ratio of Cl-/Na+ in the rainwater samples was found to be almost equal to sea water. Higher enrichment of Na+ and Cl- concentration may be due to marine contribution. The EFs were found to be high for HCO3-, Ca2+, SO42- and K+ indicating sources other than sea; i.e., coal mining and other anthropogenic activities. The principle component analysis for ionic source identification was synthesized into four factors with eigen values cut off at greater than unity and explained about 71.8 % of the total variance. The rainwater quality area is mainly influenced due to mining activities, vehicular pollution and industrialization in the East Bokaro coalfield area.


Ahiarakwem, A. (2012). Hydro-Chemical Investigation of Rainwater Samples Collected in Parts of Owerri Metropolis and Environs, Imo State, Southeastern Nigeria, ISESCO. J. Sci. Tech., 8: 48-57.
Akoto, O., Darko, G. and Nkansah, M.A. (2011). Chemical Composition of Rainwater over a Mining Area in Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res., 5(4): 847-854.
Ali, K., Momin, G.A., Tiwari, S., Safai, P.D., Chate, D.M. and Rao, P.S.P., (2004). Fog and Precipitation Chemistry at Delhi, North India, Atmos. Environ., 38: 4215.
APHA (1995). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water, 16th ed., Washington, D.C.
Balachandran, S. and Khilare, P.S. (2001). Occurrence of Acid Rain over Delhi. Environ. Monit. Assess., 71: 165–176.
Budhavant, K.B., Rao, P.S.P., Safai, P.D. and Ali, K. (2009). Chemistry of Monsoon and Post-Monsoon Rains at a High Altitude Location, Sinhagad, India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., 9(1):65-79.
Charlson, R.J. and Rodhe, H. (1982). Factors Controlling the Acidity of Natural Rainwater. Nature, 295:667–673.
Chatterjee, J. and Singh, S.K. (2012). 87Sr/86Sr and Major Ion Composition of Rainwater of Ahmedabad, India: Sources of Base Cations, Atmos. Environ., 63: 60-67.
Cheng, M.C., You, C.F., Lin, F.J., Huang, K.F. and Chung, C.H. (2011). Sources of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in Rainwater at a Subtropical Islet Offshore Northern Taiwan. Atmos. Environ., 45: 1919–1928.
Cobbina, S.J., Michael, K., Salifu, L. and Duwiejua, A.B. (2013). Rainwater Quality Assessment in the Tamale Municipality. Int. J. Scient. Tech. Res., 2(5): 1-5.
Das, R., Das, S.N. and Misra, V.N. (2005). Chemical Composition of Rainwater and Dustfall at Bhubaneshawar in the East Coast of India. Atmos. Environ., 39: 5908–5916.
Gabriel, N.W. and Henry, M.W. (2015). Trace Elements in Rainfall Collected around Menengai Area Kenya, Proceedings World Geothermal Congress 2015, Melbourne, Australia, 1-13.
Granat, L. (1972). On the Relation between pH and the Chemical Composition in Atmospheric Precipitation. Tellus, 6: 550–560.
Granat, L., Suksomsankh, K., Simachaya, S. and Rodhe, T.H. (1996). Regional Background Acidity and Chemical Composition of  Precipitation in Thailand. Atmos. Environ., 30: 1589-1596.
Hideaki, S., Maki, I. and Akira, T. (2008). Chemical Characteristics of Precipitation in Okinawa Island, Japan. Atmos. Environ., 42: 2320-2335.
Hutchinson, G.E. (1957). A Treatise on limnology I. Geography, Physics, Chemistry: New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1015.
Jain, M.U., Kulshrestha, C., Sarkar, A.K. and Parashar, D.C. (2000). Influence of Aerosols on Wet deposition at Urban and Rural Sites in India. Atmos. Environ., 34: 5129-5137.
Khare, P., Goel. A., Patel, D. and Behari, J. (2004). Chemical Characterization of Rainwater at a Developing Urban Habitat of Northern India. Atmos. Environ., 69: 135–145.
Khemani, L.T., Momin, G.A., Rao, P.S.P., Safai, P.D., Singh, G. and Kapoor, R.K. (1989). Spread of Acid Rain over India, Atmos. Environ. 23 (4): 757–762.
Kulshrestha, U.C., Saxena, A., Kumar, N., Kumari, K.M. and Srivastava, S.S. (1995). Wet and Bulk Deposition Study at New Delhi (India). Water, Air, Soil Poll., 85: 2137–2142.
Kumar, N., Kulshrestha, U.C., Saxena, A., Kumari, K.M. and Srivastava, S.S. (1993). Effect of Anthropogenic Activity on Formate and Acetate Levels in Precipitation at Four Sites in Agra, India. Atmos. Environ., 27: 87–91.
Kumar, R.A., Rani, Singh, S.P., Kumari, K.M. and Srivastava, S.S. (2002). A Long-Term Study on Chemical Composition of Rainwater at Dayalbagh, a Suburban Site of Semiarid Region. J. Atmos. Chem., 41: 265-279.
Meena, M., Meena, B.S., Chandrawat, U. and Rani, A. (2014). Chemical Characteristics of Rainwater at an Industrial City of Western India. Int. J. Innovative Res. Sci., Engg. Tech., 3(7): 14359-14367.
Migliavacca, D., Teixeira, E.C., Pires, M. and Fachel, J. (2004). Study of Chemical in Atmospheric Precipitation in South Brazil. Atmos. Environ. 38: 1641–1656.
Naik, M.S., Momin, G.A., Rao, P.S.P., Safai, P.D and Ali, K. (2002). Chemical Composition of Rainwater around an Industrial Region in Mumbai, Curr. Sci., 82:1134–1137.
Parashar, D.C., Kulshrestha, U.C. and Jain, M. (2001).  Precipitation Chemistry and Aerosols Studies in India. Environ. Monit. Assess., 66: 47–61.
Rai, P., (2014). Wet Deposition of Gaseous Pollutants in Dhanbad, India for Rainwater Quality. Int. J. Curr. Engg. Tech., 4(2): 473-479.
Rastogi, N. and Sarin, M.M. (2005). Chemical Characteristics if Individual Rain Events from a Semi-arid Region in India: Three –year Study. Atmos. Environ., 39: 3313–3323.
Rastogi, N. and Sarin, M.M. (2006). Atmospheric Abundances of Nitrogen Species in Rain and Aerosols over a Semi-arid Region: Sources and Deposition Fluxes. Aerosol Air Qual. Res., 6(4): 406-417.
Ravichandran, C. and Padmanabhamurty, B. (1994). Acid Precipitation in Delhi, India, Atmos. Environ., 28: 2291–2297.
Rodhe, H., Dentener, F. and Schulz, M. (2002). The Global Distribution of Acidifying Wet Deposition. Environ. Sci. Tech., 36: 4382-4388.
Saxena, A., Kulshrestha, U.C., Kumar, N., Kumari, K.M. and Srivastava, S.S. (1996). Characterisation of Precipitation at Agra. Atmos. Environ., 30: 3405–3412.
Saxena, A., Sharma, S., Kulshrestha, U.C. and Srivastava, S.S. (1991). Factors Affecting Alkaline Nature of Rainwater in Agra (India). Environ. Poll., 74: 129–138.
Seto, S., Oohara, M. and Ikeda, Y. (2000). Analysis of Precipitation Chemistry at a Rural Site in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Atmos. Environ. 34: 621–628.
Shivashankara, G.P., Ranga, K. and Ramalingaiah, M. (1999). Characterisation of Bulk Precipitation in Industrial Areas of Bangalore city. Indian J. Environ. Hlth. 41:229–238.
Singh, A.K. and Mondal, G.C. (2008). Chemical Characterization of Wet Precipitation Events and Deposition of Pollutants in Coal Mining Region, India. J. Atmos. Chem., 59:1–23.
Tang, A., Zhuang, G., Wang, Y., Yuan, H. and Sun, Y. (2005). The Chemistry of Precipitation and its relation to Aerosols in Beijing. Atmos. Environ. 39:3397–3406.
Tiwari, S., Hopke, P.K., Thimmaiah, D., Dumka, U.C., Srivastava, A.K., Bisht, D.S., Rao, P.S.P., Chate, D.M., Srivastava, M. K. and Tripathi, S.N. (2015). Nature and Sources of Ionic Species in Precipitation across the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India. Aerosol and Air Qual. Res., (In press), DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.06.0423.
Tu, J., Wang, H., Zhang, Z., Jin, X. and Li, W. (2005). Trends in Chemical Composition of Precipitation in Nanjing, China, during 1992–2003. Atmos. Res., 73(3-4): 283–298.
Yang, F., Tan, J., Shi, Z. B., Cai, Y., He, K., Ma, Y., Duan, F., Okuda, T., Tanaka, S., Chen, G. and Bai, L. (2011). Five-year Record of Atmospheric Precipitation Chemistry in Urban Beijing, China. Atmos. Chem. Phy., 11: 28097-28124.
Yanli, C., Ying, L., Mingqun, H., Qian, S., Huixiang, W., Zhongming, C. and Yuhua, B. (2011). Chemical Characteristics of Precipitation at Nanping Mangdang Mountain in Eastern China during Spring. J. Environ. Sci., 23(8): 1350–1358.
Zhang, M., Wang, S., Wu, F., Yuan, X. and Zhang, Y. (2006). Chemical Compositions of Wet Precipitation and Anthropogenic Influences at a Developing Urban Site in Southeastern China, Atmos. Res., 84: 311-322.