Analysis of Trend in Groundwater-Quality Parameters: A Case Study

  • Subhankar Ghosh Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur − 721302, West Bengal, India.
  • Madan Kumar Jha Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur − 721302, West Bengal, India.
Keywords: Alluvial coastal aquifer, Trend analysis, Original Mann-Kendall test, Sen’s slope, Modified Mann-Kendall test, Spearman Rank Order Correlation test


In the 21st century, groundwater has a pivotal role in ensuring water, food, and environmental securities worldwide. Systematic observation, protection and restoration are essential for sustainable management of water resources. Regular monitoring is key to investigate temporal changes in groundwater quality, and statistical trend tests define whether these changes are significant or not. This study focuses on investigating trend in seasonal groundwater quality in an alluvial coastal basin of West Bengal, India. The seasonal groundwater-quality data (pH, TH, TDS, Fe2+ and HCO3ˉ) of pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons were collected for 2011–2018 period and analyzed using three non-parametric statistical trend detection tests, namely: (i) Original Mann-Kendall (M-K) test, (ii) Modified Mann-Kendall (mM-K) test, and (iii) Spearman Rank Order Correlation (SROC) test. The trend magnitudes were estimated by using the Sen’s slope estimation test. Statistical analyses revealed that seasonal concentrations of all five groundwater-quality parameters have large spatial (block-wise) variation within the study area. The results of trend analyses indicated that seasonal TH and TDS concentrations mainly have significant decreasing trends (α = 5% or 1%), whereas seasonal HCO3ˉ and Fe2+ concentrations mostly show significant increasing trends (α = 5% or 1%) in different blocks. However, seasonal pH concentrations exhibited no trend. The mM-K test was found to be over-sensitive in finding trends than M-K and SROC tests. The SROC test was found to be less sensitive in detecting trends than M-K and mM-K tests. Trend magnitudes of seasonal pH, TH, TDS, HCO3ˉ and Fe2+ concentrations varied from –0.03/year to 0.23/year, –57.44 mg/L/year to 25.88 mg/L/year, –172.98 mg/L/year to 92.58 mg/L/year, –15.81 mg/L/year to 27.88 mg/L/year, and –0.05 mg/L/year to 0.61 mg/L/year, respectively. Continuous and proper groundwater-quality monitoring is critically required in all aquifer systems. The outcomes of this study will aid policy-makers in appropriately monitoring and managing groundwater quality.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


S. Ouhamdouch, M. Bahir, and D. Ouazar, Climate change impact assessment on a carbonate aquifer under semi-arid climate: example of the Cenomanian-Turonian aquifer within Meskala-Ouazzi region (Essaouira Basin, Morocco). Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 13(4) (2020) 173.

L. Santucci, E. Carol, and C. Tanjal, Industrial waste as a source of surface and groundwater pollution for more than half a century in a sector of the Río de la Plata coastal plain (Argentina). Chemosphere, 206 (2018) 727–735.

S. Sahu, U. Gogoi, and N.C. Nayak, Groundwater solute chemistry, hydrogeochemical processes and fluoride contamination in phreatic aquifer of Odisha, India. Geoscience Frontiers, 12(3) (2021) 101093.

S. N. Selvakumar, Chandrasekar, and G. Kumar, Hydrogeochemical characteristics and groundwater contamination in the rapid urban development areas of Coimbatore, India. Water Resources and Industry, 17 (2017) 26–33.

C.W. Fetter, (1994). Applied Hydrogeology. 4th edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 592 pp.

E.A. Varouchakis, D.T. Hristopulos, and G.P. Karatzas, Improving kriging of groundwater level data using nonlinear normalizing transformations–a field application. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 57(7) (2012) 1404–1419.

O. Kisi, and M. Ay, Comparison of Mann-Kendall and innovative trend method for water quality parameters of the Kizilirmak River, Turkey. Journal of Hydrology, 513 (2014) 362–375.

H.U. Farid, I. Ahmad, M.N. Anjum, Z.M. Khan, M.M. Iqbal, A. Shakoor, and M. Mubeen, Assessing seasonal and long-term changes in groundwater quality due to over-abstraction using geostatistical techniques. Environmental Earth Sciences, 78(13) (2019) 386.

D.D. Bui, A. Kawamura, T.N. Tong, H. Amaguchi, and N. Nakagawa, Spatio-temporal analysis of recent groundwater-level trends in the Red River Delta, Vietnam. Hydrogeology Journal, 20 (2012) 1635–1650.

K. SatishKumar, and E.V. Rathnam, Comparison of six trend detection methods and forecasting for monthly groundwater levels–a case study. ISH Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 28(sup1) (2022) 412–421.

C. Jeon, M. Raza, J.-Y. Lee, H. Kim, C.-S. Kim, B. Kim, J.-W. Kim, R.-H. Kim, and S.-W. Lee, Countrywide groundwater quality trend and suitability for use in key sectors of Korea. Water, 12(4) (2020) 1193.

B. Niu, H. Wang, H.A. Loáiciga, S. Hong, and W. Shao, Temporal variations of groundwater quality in the Western Jianghan Plain, China. Science of the Total Environment, 578 (2017) 542–550.

F. Niazi, H. Mofid, and N.F. Modares, Trend analysis of temporal changes of discharge and water quality parameters of Ajichay River in four recent decades. Water Quality, Exposure and Health, 6(1–2) (2014) 89–95.

P. Kumar, P. Tiwari, A. Biswas, and T. Acharya, Geophysical and hydrogeological investigation for the saline water invasion in the coastal aquifers of West Bengal, India: A critical insight in the coastal saline clay-sand sediment system. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 192 (2020) 562.

J. Jaagus, Climatic changes in Estonia during the second half of the 20th century in relationship with changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 83(1–4) (2006) 77–88.

J.M. Kampata, B.P. Parida, and D.B.Moalafhi, Trend analysis of rainfall in the headstreams of the Zambezi River Basin in Zambia. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth Parts A/B/C, 33(8) (2008) 621–625.

H. Tabari, H. Abghari, and P. Hosseinzadeh Talaee, Temporal trends and spatial characteristics of drought and rainfall in arid and semiarid regions of Iran. Hydrological Processes, 26(22) (2012) 3351–3361.

Z. Şen, Innovative trend significance test and applications. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 127 (2017) 939–947.

M.G. Kendall, (1962). Rank Correlation Methods. Hafner Publishing Company, New York.

P.K. Sen, Estimates of the regression coefficient based on Kendall’s tau. Journal of the American statistical association, 63(324) (1968) 1379–1389.

R. Bouza-Deano, M. Ternero-Rodriguez, and A.J. Fernandez-Espinosa, Trend study and assessment of surface water quality in the Ebro River (Spain). Journal of Hydrology, 361(3) (2008) 227–239.

M. Sayemuzzaman, and M.K. Jha, Seasonal and annual precipitation time series trend analysis in North Carolina, United States. Atmospheric Research, 137 (2014) 183–194.

K.H. Hamed, and A.R. Rao, A modified Mann-Kendall trend test for autocorrelated data. Journal of Hydrology, 204(1–4) (1998) 182–196.

S. Yue, C.Y. Wang, The Mann-Kendall test modified by effective sample size to detect trend in serially correlated hydrological series. Water Resources Management, 18 (2004) 201–218.

J.W. McGhee, (1985). Introductory Statistics. West Publishing Co., New York, USA.

How to Cite
Ghosh, S.; Jha, M. K. Analysis of Trend in Groundwater-Quality Parameters: A Case Study. ijceae 2022, 4, 17-45.

Views: Abstract : 60 | PDF : 29

Plum Analytics