Water source identification is important for water hazard controlling in coal mines. In this study, major ion concentrations of the groundwater collected from four representative aquifer systems in the Baishan coal mine, northern Anhui Province, China, have been analysed by a series of statistical methods. The results indicate that the major ion concentrations of the groundwater from different aquifer system are different with each other, and provided the possibility of water source identification based on hydrochemistry. Factor analysis indicates that these differences are controlled by different types of water rock interactions. The analysis based on US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Unmix model identified three sources (weathering of silicate minerals, dissolution of carbonate and evaporate minerals) responsible for the hydrochemical variations of the groundwater. Also, it shows that their contributions for the groundwater in different aquifer systems vary considerably. Based on these variations and on step by step analysis, the source aquifer system for the groundwater samples with unknown source has been determined and, similar to the result obtained by the cluster and discriminant analysis. Therefore, EPA Unmix model can be applied for water source identification in coal mine, as it can provide information about water rock interaction and water source identification simultaneously.

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