Hydrogeochemical investigations had been carried out at the Amol-Babol Plain in the north of Iran. Geochemical processes and factors controlling the groundwater chemistry are identified based on the combination of classic geochemical methods with geographic information system (GIS) and geostatistical techniques. The results of the ionic ratios and Gibbs plots show that water rock interaction mechanisms, followed by cation exchange, and dissolution of carbonate and silicate minerals have influenced the groundwater chemistry in the study area. The hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater show a shift from low mineralized Ca-HCO3, Ca-Na-HCO3, and Ca-Cl water types to high mineralized Na-Cl water type. Three classes, namely, C1, C2, and C3, have been classified using cluster analysis. The spatial distribution maps of Na(+)/Cl(-), Mg(2+)/Ca(2+), and Cl(-)/HCO3 (-) ratios and electrical conductivity values indicate that the carbonate and weathering of silicate minerals played a significant role in the groundwater chemistry on the southern and western sides of the plain. However, salinization process had increased due to the influence of the evaporation-precipitation process towards the north-eastern side of the study area.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.