Abstract

Groundwater availability in urbanized areas is under high demand due to overconsumption and lack of recharge area. It is important to consider the groundwater scenario of the cities and industrial areas for its safe consumption and management. In this framework, remote sensing, GIS, is a tool which plays a vital role to map groundwater prospect zones due to its convenience and time-saving nature. The present study area, the watershed of Chhokra Nala, covers an area which consists partly of an industrial area and also Raipur city. The current study has utilized satellite imagery, along with other data sets, to develop different thematic layers such as geology, land use land cover, drainage and drainage density, lineament, geomorphology, rainfall, slope, groundwater depth and soil types. Integration of all these thematic layers through GIS analysis delineated the groundwater prospect zones by the application of a weighted index overlay method. A Resistivity Survey was also performed to locate groundwater potential zones. The groundwater potential zone map of the study area is categorized into five different zones, namely very low, low, moderate, high and very high.

INTRODUCTION

Groundwater occurrence and its movement in an area totally depends on various aspects. Throughout the hydrological cycle, waters interact with different agents and go through various phases. This whole process takes place in an equilibrium manner, i.e. the total inflow is equal to the outflow in that system and the net change in total quantity is negligible or zero. Groundwater as a part of the hydrological system also needs attention, not only due to its contribution to the hydrological cycle but because it also plays a vital role in the existence of living beings. The quantity of groundwater in an area totally depends on various factors. The rate of infiltration, runoff, base flow, evaporation etc., mainly depends on the geology, geomorphology, slope, vegetation, various manmade and natural structures, and soil type of the area. Even though these factors play a vital role in the groundwater or surface water quantity, the impact of each factor changes from area to area and is controlled by the distribution of them within the area of interest.

Various conventional methods, such as geological and geophysical, are applicable to confirm the presence and measure the appreciable quantity of groundwater in an area. However, compared to these methods, remote sensing can be used as a tool which is much more effective in a way that it is a more convenient, time-saving and cost-effective tool for the reconnaissance survey (Pratap et al. 2000; Prasad et al. 2008; Deepika et al. 2013). As a tool, remote sensing and GIS utilizes satellite imageries, digital elevation models, conventional maps and field generated data for the generation of thematic maps of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC), drainage network, drainage density, slope of the area, geology, geomorphology, rainfall distribution, groundwater level and lineament density. However, the generation of such layers is time consuming when collected and analyzed manually. The sequential arrangement of these layers subjected to the overlay analysis evaluates the weight of each influencing factor. Suitable groundwater potential areas can be generated by considering the weight of each factor. The obtained results can be utilized for further research or exploration.

Raipur is the capital city of Chhatisgarh. It is one of the major cities experiencing rapid change over recent decades (Khan & Jhariya 2016). Changes in land use land cover of the area, progression of urbanization, along with the consumption of natural resources, are one of the major environmental concerns of the area. Development of the colonized area reduces the green areas and increases the demand for natural resources, especially groundwater. Chhokra Nala is one of the important micro-watersheds in Raipur. The major part of the drainage network of the Chhokra Nala is spread over the cultivated land. The industrial areas and urbanized network of Raipur city also contribute in a small part in the total drainage area of Chhokra Nala. It is important to study the probable zones of groundwater within the areas, not only to locate the potential zones but also to prevent the over exploitation of groundwater from the depleted areas. In this study tools such as remote sensing and GIS were applied to demarcate the groundwater potential zones by the integration of different supporting factors on Chhokra Nala watershed, which will be helpful for controlled consumption and safe usage of the water.

STUDY AREA

Chhokra Nala is a tributary of the Kharun river. It is one of the micro-watersheds of Raipur, which covers an area of 220 km2 (Figure 1) and falls under the survey of India Toposheet No. 64G/11 and 64G/12. The micro-watershed is located at 81°35′–81°45′ longitude and 21°11′–21°24′ latitude. Chokkra Nala spreads over six villages. More than 40% of the watershed comes under the urbanized area. It is important to determine the potential zones within the area to obtain a picture of available resource and the water demand of the area.

Figure 1

Location map.

Figure 1

Location map.

METHODOLOGY

Development of thematic layers

The systematic methodology adopted in this study is shown in Figure 2. The base map of the Chhokkra Nala watershed was prepared using SOI Toposheets number 64G/11 and 64G/12 (1:50,000) (Figure 1). Thematic maps for the delineation of the groundwater potential zone of the study area were prepared with the help of different maps in a GIS environment. The rates and weights of each parameter were assigned according to their influence on the groundwater occurrence.

Figure 2

Flow chart of methodology.

Figure 2

Flow chart of methodology.

The major controlling factors and indicators of the groundwater, such as geology, land use land cover, drainage and drainage density, lineament, resistivity, geomorphology, rainfall, slope, groundwater depth, and soil types were stacked according to the influence of each on the groundwater potential. The corresponding rate and weight of each layer was allocated according to the character of the study area and the knowledge gained from referred literature (Sener et al. 2005; Ganapuram et al. 2009; Nagarajan & Singh 2009; Machiwal et al. 2011; Manap et al. 2011; Magesh et al. 2012; Mukherjee et al. 2012; Nag & Ghosh 2013; Suganthi et al. 2013; Jhariya et al. 2016; Senanayake et al. 2016; Yeh et al. 2016; Thapa & Gupta 2017).

Drainage network and slope of the study area were generated with the help of a DEM (digital elevation model) accessed from the Bhuvan web mapping service of India. The drainage network of the Chhokkra Nala was delineated with the help of hydrology tools, whereas the slope of the area was derived with the help of a surface tool in the ArcGIS. Satellite imagery downloaded from the earth explorer service USGS has utilized the database for the preparation of geomorphology maps and land use land cover. The obtained data was subjected to visual interpretation with the help of tone, texture, pattern, shape, relief, and association, followed by field verification. Average rainfall and soil type of the region was collected from the State Water Resource Department, Government of Chhattisgarh, and was used for the preparation of a rainfall and soil map. The average rainfall distribution of the area was prepared by an ‘inverse distance weighting (IDW)’ method. Geology of the area was prepared by digitizing the geology map of geological survey of India. A thematic map prepared for the groundwater depth was constructed by interpolation of the water level of the area.

The acquired drainage network was utilized for the preparation of drainage density. A line density method was selected as an appropriate method for the creation of drainage density of the area. A Resistivity Map (Resistivity Survey-Geophysical) was prepared using the processed data (Table 1) collected during the field work with the help of an IDW method. A lineament buffer zone map of the study area was been prepared with the help of the BHUVAN service. Thematic maps were prepared using different methods converted into the raster format for its reclassification. The thematic map preparation and its reclassification were based on each influencing factor and their effect on groundwater potential. The range of potential zones can be easily determined by the assignment of weight for each influencing factor. Prepared thematic maps compare and arrange for the delineation of the potential zone (GWPZ) within the area (Equation (1) (Suganthi et al. 2013)) by using the weighted sum method 
formula
(1)
Table 1

Data representing the apparent resistivity by vertical electrical survey

Sl No.   Longitude Latitude Apparent resistivity (ohm-m)
 
Top surface 10 m depth 30 m depth 
VES 1 21.25089 81.66444 124 45 120 
VES 2 21.22708 81.67017 20 90 90 
VES 3 21.22183 81.66144 80 195 460 
VES 4 21.29508 81.6325 37 70 640 
VES 5 21.27194 81.65017 7.7 25 55 
VES 6 21.27214 81.67986 11 47 190 
VES 7 21.29772 81.67336 10.5 75 210 
VES 8 21.28322 81.70981 18 90 350 
VES 9 21.26894 81.73511 90 86 370 
10 VES 10 21.26611 81.71714 38 71 310 
11 VES 11 21.25853 81.68586 29 165 660 
12 VES 12 21.233 81.68467 12 34 70 
13 VES 13 21.24164 81.70147 22.5 190 500 
14 VES 14 21.29694 81.67833 6.2 35 275 
15 VES 15 21.23939 81.71008 42 300 700 
16 VES 16 21.22231 81.719 27 345 950 
17 VES 17 21.24597 81.73736 51 350 960 
18 VES 18 21.20978 81.70389 56 240 
19 VES 19 21.19789 81.72897 115 190 930 
20 VES 20 21.21264 81.76064 14.5 225 500 
21 VES 21 21.3167 81.642 160 38 450 
Sl No.   Longitude Latitude Apparent resistivity (ohm-m)
 
Top surface 10 m depth 30 m depth 
VES 1 21.25089 81.66444 124 45 120 
VES 2 21.22708 81.67017 20 90 90 
VES 3 21.22183 81.66144 80 195 460 
VES 4 21.29508 81.6325 37 70 640 
VES 5 21.27194 81.65017 7.7 25 55 
VES 6 21.27214 81.67986 11 47 190 
VES 7 21.29772 81.67336 10.5 75 210 
VES 8 21.28322 81.70981 18 90 350 
VES 9 21.26894 81.73511 90 86 370 
10 VES 10 21.26611 81.71714 38 71 310 
11 VES 11 21.25853 81.68586 29 165 660 
12 VES 12 21.233 81.68467 12 34 70 
13 VES 13 21.24164 81.70147 22.5 190 500 
14 VES 14 21.29694 81.67833 6.2 35 275 
15 VES 15 21.23939 81.71008 42 300 700 
16 VES 16 21.22231 81.719 27 345 950 
17 VES 17 21.24597 81.73736 51 350 960 
18 VES 18 21.20978 81.70389 56 240 
19 VES 19 21.19789 81.72897 115 190 930 
20 VES 20 21.21264 81.76064 14.5 225 500 
21 VES 21 21.3167 81.642 160 38 450 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Geology

Geology depicts the litho units and formations that present in an area. It provides an insight into the sequential arrangement of rock formations below the earth surface. Identification of the litho units helps to determine the infiltration capacity, permeability and its ability to discharge and store water.

The geology of the given area (Figure 3) plays an important role in the occurrence of groundwater in the area. Stromatolitic dolomitic limestone, stromatolitic dolomitic limestone with sandstone and laterite are the major litho-units of the area. Stromatolitic dolomitic limestone and stromatolitic dolomitic limestone with sandstone belong to the Chandi formation of Raipur group (Mukherjee et al. 2014; CGWB 2015–2016). The groundwater potential of the area is mainly controlled by fractured/cavernous stromatolitic dolomitic limestone and stromatolitic dolomitic limestone with sandstone.

Figure 3

Geology map.

Figure 3

Geology map.

Land use land cover (LULC)

Land use land cover of an area indicates utilization of the land for various purposes. It includes road networks, vegetation, surface water bodies, settlements, urbanized areas etc. The occurrence of water in a particular area also depends on the surface features and these act as a mediator in the process of infiltration or runoff, sometimes evapotranspiration. The rapid growth of the urban areas significantly affects the overall water budget throughout the years. The land use land cover of the study area was prepared by visual interpretation technique using satellite data.

The majority of the area is comprised of cultivated land, followed by settlements, industrial areas, open land, water bodies and vegetation (Figure 4). Land use land cover classes that are important in the case of demarcation of potential zones are categorized as seven divisions. Among these, cultivated land plays a major role in computing the potential because it covers more than 60% of the area. It is followed by the settlement and industrial areas. Vegetation, cultivated areas, and water bodies mainly support the infiltration whereas settlement industrial areas and road network have a negative impact on infiltration (Table 1).

Figure 4

Land use land cover map.

Figure 4

Land use land cover map.

Drainage and drainage density

The drainage network of the area (Figure 5) reflects the actual surficial condition of the watershed. The drainage network consists of geomorphological features that were formed by the activity of flowing water over a terrain. According to the conditions of terrain, it forms different patterns. The Chhokra Nala watershed exposes a dendritic pattern which is an ideal pattern of hard rock terrain. Even though the litho units of the terrain are limestone, it is categorized under hard rock due to its insoluble and fractured nature (GSI).

Figure 5

Drainage map.

Figure 5

Drainage map.

Drainage density is one of the powerful factors that indicate the runoff and infiltration of a specific region (Karanth 2013). Drainage density is defined as the total length of the stream to the total drainage area (Equation (2)): 
formula
(2)
where Ld is the total length and A is the total area of the drainage basin that is drained by the stream. Low drainage density is an indicator of the presence of highly resistant or highly permeable rocks on the surface. High drainage density indicates more runoff than infiltration.

Analyses of drainage density of the area reflect high drainage density along the path of the stream (Figure 6). The region away from the area drained by the stream possesses low to very low drainage density. Its effect on groundwater potential is comparatively low (Table 1).

Figure 6

Drainage density map.

Figure 6

Drainage density map.

Lineament

Lineaments are the linear features that present on the earth surface, which are the traces of subsurface structures. The length of the lineament can vary from a few meters to tens of thousands of kilometers. Lineaments are mainly related to faults but can also represent the presence of subsurface structures such as lithological boundaries, boundaries between different land use and drainage lines (Sander 2007). Lineaments are also important in the case of a groundwater potential study because they may control the movement and storage of the groundwater (Nag 2005). High lineament density of the area is found in the middle part of the area. Most of the lineaments trend towards a NW-SE direction and are located near to the main stream (Figure 7).

Figure 7

Lineament map.

Figure 7

Lineament map.

Geophysical survey

A resistivity survey can be used to determine the groundwater potential zones (Gowd 2004). The resistivity survey conducted at the surface (Figure 8) showed that the middle and southern parts of the area have low resistivity (Table 1). It indicates high conductivity of the formation. High conductivity is a sign of water content in the area. From the soil data, it is clear that the top surface is composed of vertisol and ultisol. Both soil groups have clay as a major content in their composition. Since the clay has very low resistivity, it is possible to find a lower resistive area due to its presence. Therefore, it is not necessarily that the areas having low resistivity are the actual potential zones.

Figure 8

Resistivity map top – surface.

Figure 8

Resistivity map top – surface.

Collected and plotted resistivity data (Table 1) show that most of the areas at 10 mgbl depth (Figure 9) have low resistivity. This indicates that the areas probably have high groundwater potential. Compared to the top surface, the resistivity at the northern part of the area at shallow depths has very low resistivity. Most of the study area consists of cavernous limestone which may be the reason for the low resistivity.

Figure 9

Resistivity map – 10m depth.

Figure 9

Resistivity map – 10m depth.

At a depth of 30 mbgl (Figure 10) the resistivity value is very high (Table 1) and almost uniform in nature. This may be due to the compact nature of the limestone.

Figure 10

Resistivity map – 30m depth.

Figure 10

Resistivity map – 30m depth.

Geomorphology

Geomorphology plays an essential role in the groundwater conditions of an area. Geomorphological features of an area not only control the occurrence but also control the surficial distribution of a surface water body and, to an extent, also the groundwater conditions.

Geomorphology of the area (Figure 11) is the major factor that contributes high weightage to the groundwater potential (Table 1). Geomorphology of the study area falls under four different categories (Choubey & Diwan 2017), namely alluvial pediplain surface, pediments, pediplain moderately weathered and pediplain shallow weathered. More than 70% of the area is covered by the shallow weathered pediplain and 20% by pediplain moderately weathered. The remainder consists of both pediments and alluvial pediplain surface.

Figure 11

Geomorphology map.

Figure 11

Geomorphology map.

Rainfall data

The average rainfall around a region directly affects the amount of water distributed in the area, even though it is controlled by other factors such as geology, geomorphology, slope etc. An increase in rainfall pattern can directly influence the water table depth. The water level may decline if the rainfall is significantly less. In this study, the rainfall map was prepared with the help of data collected from the state water resource department of Chhattisgarh. The average rainfall data was prepared with the help of IDW techniques. The average rainfall of the area ranges from 935 to 1133 mm (Figure 12). Rainfall of the study area is influenced by the southwest monsoon (Jhariya et al. 2016). Along with geology the rainfall also plays a positive impact on the groundwater occurrence.

Figure 12

Average rainfall map.

Figure 12

Average rainfall map.

Slope

Runoff is always supported by the regional slope. The amount of the slope determines whether the region is capable of holding water by infiltration or if it promotes runoff (Magesh et al. 2012). When the degree of slope decreases, the possibility of runoff also decreases. The runoff rate increases with an increase in the slope amount. A rapid flow of water prevents infiltration into the soil (Thapa & Gupta 2017).

Analysis of slope within the study area resulted from DEM data which showed that the study area falls under low to moderate slope areas. The slope of the study area varies from <1 to >5% (Figure 13). An increasing percentage of slope decreases the infiltration capacity of the soil and formation hence promoting runoff. The majority of the study area falls under >5% slopes. Even though the slope is steep when compared with other subclasses in the area, the slope is gentle when it is compared with the natural slope category.

Figure 13

Slope map.

Figure 13

Slope map.

Figure 14

Groundwater depth map.

Figure 14

Groundwater depth map.

Groundwater depth

Groundwater depth of the area indicates the spatial variation in depth to the water level of a particular area. The correlation between the average water depth and the geological formations indirectly conveys the ability of the area for its water transmission, storage, and discharge capacity. Even though the depth may be shallow, water availability may be high. Deeper water levels indicate water scarcity rather than its abundance.

The collected data of groundwater depth shows that the study area has deep water conditions. Only a small part of the total area has a shallow water level. More than half of the area falls under a groundwater depth of >6 m which is clear evidence of moderate water availability (Figure 14).

Soil types

Soil types are important to determine the groundwater potential of the area. Primary infiltration of water into the ground is controlled by the water conducting properties of the soil. The study area is composed of three soil types (Figure 15): vertisol, ultisol, and sandy soil. A major portion of the study area is composed vertisol which is a soil that consists of expanding clay minerals with very low water transmitting capacity.

Figure 15

Soil map.

Figure 15

Soil map.

Ultisol also consists of clay minerals but has more water infiltration capacity compared with vertisol. The third soil type, sandy soil, is present in significantly lesser quantities that are confined to the south-east corner of the watershed and it has a very good water transmitting capacity.

Delineation of groundwater potential zone

The groundwater potential zone of the study area is demarcated with the help of GIS through the assignment of different influencing factors based on their hierarchy (Figure 16). Layers such as geology, land use land cover, drainage and drainage density, lineament, resistivity, geomorphology, rainfall, slope, groundwater depth and soil types are stacked according to their impact on groundwater potential. The rank and weight of the corresponding influencing factors are given in Table 1. The groundwater potential zone is demarcated with the help of thematic layers and assigned weight and rank. Mapping of the potential zones of groundwater within the area has been carried out with the help of overlay analysis using the weighted sum method. It illustrates five categories of groundwater potential zones such as very low, low, medium, high and very high.

Figure 16

Groundwater potential map.

Figure 16

Groundwater potential map.

Moderate to very high groundwater potential is found in the areas consisting of pediplain which is moderately weathered and includes geological formations of limestone and sandstone with a slope of ∼1–3%. This area covers the cultivated area and main water body and has a positive impact on groundwater occurrence. The low to very low potential area is in the shallow weathered pediplain region consisting of glauconite arenite with shale of >5% slope covered with settlements, road network industrial areas, and open land. Pandri, Bhanpuri, Rajeev Nagar, Birgoan, Sondra, Sankari-3, Dumartarari, Swami Vivekananda airport, Tekari-2, and Serikhedi-Jora are areas with low to very low groundwater potential (Table 2).

Table 2

Weight and rank of thematic layers for groundwater potential zones

S. no Category Weightage Classification Rank 
Geology Stromatolitic dolomitic limestone 
Laterite 
Limestone and dolomite with sandstone 
Land use land cover Cultivation 
Industrial area 
Open land 
Road network 
Settlement 
Vegetation 
Waterbody 
Drainage density Very low 
Low 
Medium 
High 
Very high 
Lineament 0–100 
100–200 
200–300 
300–400 
400–500 
Resistivity <50 
50–100 
100–200 
>200 
Geomorphology Alluvial pediplain 
Pediments 
Pediplain moderately weathered 
Pediplain shallow weathered 
Rainfall 935.24–984.96 
984.96–1018.37 
1018.37–1050.22 
1050.22–1088.29 
1088.29–1133.34 
Slope <1 
1–3 
3–4 
4–5 
>18 
Groundwater depth <3 
3–6 
6–9  
9–12 
12–18 
>18 
10 Soil type Sandy soil 
Ultisol 
Vertisol 
S. no Category Weightage Classification Rank 
Geology Stromatolitic dolomitic limestone 
Laterite 
Limestone and dolomite with sandstone 
Land use land cover Cultivation 
Industrial area 
Open land 
Road network 
Settlement 
Vegetation 
Waterbody 
Drainage density Very low 
Low 
Medium 
High 
Very high 
Lineament 0–100 
100–200 
200–300 
300–400 
400–500 
Resistivity <50 
50–100 
100–200 
>200 
Geomorphology Alluvial pediplain 
Pediments 
Pediplain moderately weathered 
Pediplain shallow weathered 
Rainfall 935.24–984.96 
984.96–1018.37 
1018.37–1050.22 
1050.22–1088.29 
1088.29–1133.34 
Slope <1 
1–3 
3–4 
4–5 
>18 
Groundwater depth <3 
3–6 
6–9  
9–12 
12–18 
>18 
10 Soil type Sandy soil 
Ultisol 
Vertisol 

CONCLUSIONS

This study was conducted to determine possible groundwater potential zones in the Chhokra Nala watershed Raipur city, Chattisgarh, India. The potential area was classified into five zones ranging from very low to very high potential by overlay analysis using weighted sum. The overlay analysis was performed using seven layers, namely geomorphology, geology, rainfall, slope, drainage density, LULC, groundwater depth, and soil map. Correlation of groundwater potential map with the controlling factors concludes that geomorphology, geology, slope, and LULC show high influence in the demarcation of the groundwater potential of the Chhokra Nala watershed. The map clearly illustrates that Pandri, Bhanpuri, Rajeev Nagar, Birgoan, Sondra, Sankari-3, Dumartarari, Swami Vivekananda airport, Tekari-2, and Serikhedi-Jora have very low groundwater potential, and are covered with settlements and industries. Areas other than these have medium to very high groundwater potential. The result of the study can be used as a reference for groundwater development and management. The results are also helpful to control the rate of extraction from the low potential areas and are helpful to determine the proper recharge sites.

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