Groundwater from the loose layer aquifer system is important in northern Anhui Province, China, because it is an important water supplier for agriculture, industrial and domestic use. However, it is also a threat for the safety of coal mining. In this study, major ion concentrations of 43 groundwater samples from the loose layer aquifer system in Huaibei coalfield, northern Anhui Province, China have been measured and analyzed by EPA Unmix model for tracing their sources. The results suggest that they can be classified to be Na-Cl type according to their major ion concentrations. Statistical analysis (coefficients of variations and the Anderson–Darling normality test) indicates that more than one source is responsible for the major ions. Three sources have been identified by Umix model with different contributions for each sample, and the total dissolved solids contributed by the chloride, silicate-carbonate and sulfate sources are 10%, 47%, and 43%, respectively. The variations of contributions from the three sources for the samples probably relate to: (1) the inhomogeneity of mineral compositions and (2) the different locations (recharge or discharge) of the samples collected.

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