Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

Introducing a study area: Trans-Varuna, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Varanasi is situated in Uttar Pradesh province, in the north of India. The city lies within the Indo-Gangetic Plain and has two effluents: Varuna in the north and Assi in the south. The study area presented in this article is on the trans-Varuna side, on the flood plain of the Varuna river, consist mainly of alluvium deposits.

Spatial distribution of nitrate concentration (left) and the geology of Varanasi (right) (Shukla, 2008 & 2009)

Throughout Varanasi, the geological setting is quite similar: near surface are sandy lenses surrounded by clay-silty deposits. This sandy lenses form the shallow aquifers (25-40 m depth below surface, Shukla et al., 2008) with unconfined condition, which is the main water supply of most part of the city. The lateral length of these lenses can be up to some 1000 m. Below the clay-silty layer lie fine-coarse sand deposits, which represent the deeper aquifer (60-70 m depth below surface, Shukla et al., 2008).

A pump along Varuna: water supply for agriculture

The reason for choosing this study area is that at that area, high nitrate concentration were observed and that there are different types of land use in a small area. Besides vegetable farming, there are schools and residents range from squatter areas to upper middle class houses.

For irrigation, water from Vruna is pumped into the field. The greeny, smelly river water gave an unhealthy impression, although the farmer insists, that the quality is ok. Closer analysis of water quality will be done in near future. Water supply in resident area are  hand pumps and dugswell for the less fortunated. the latter, some are dry during summer. In upper classes, tube wells are drilled into the deeper aquifer. Also here, water sampleswill be taken for analysis.

Squatter between luxurious house an farming

Katharina Albert
Student of M.Sc. Applied Geosciences, major in Geophysics-Hydrogeology-Engineering Geology. Currently working on master thesis at Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of RWTH Aachen University. Topic is non-point source pollution in urban area See all posts from Katharina Albert
  1. I m research scholar at bhu varanasi I want to read some articles

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