Water quality and physical hydrogeology of the Amarapura township, Mandalay, Myanmar
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Mandalay is a major city in central Myanmar with a high urban population that lacks a wastewater management system, a solid waste disposal process, and access to treated drinking water. The purpose of this study is to investigate the groundwater quality of local dug and tube wells, determine quantitative data on characteristics of the Amarapura Aquifer, and compare seasonal variations in groundwater flow and quality. Major ion chemistry data was collected during the dry and wet seasons, and analyzed using ion chromatography to identify indicators of wastewater contamination to the shallow aquifer and compare seasonal variations in groundwater chemistry. An open-source analytical element model, GFLOW, was used to describe the physical hydrogeology and to determine groundwater flow characteristics in the aquifer. Hydrogeochemistry data and numerical groundwater flow models provide evidence that the Amarapura Aquifer is susceptible to contamination from anthropogenic sources. The dominant water types in most dug and tube wells is Na-Cl, but there is no known geologic source of NaCl near Mandalay. Many of these wells also contain water with high electrical conductivity, chlorides, nitrates, ammonium, and E. coli. Physical measurements and GFLOW characterize groundwater flow directions predominantly towards the Irrawaddy River and with quick average linear velocities (v[sub x]) ranging from 1.76x10⁻² m/day (2.04x10⁻⁷ m/s) to 9.25 m/day (1.07x10⁻⁴ m/s). This is the first hydrogeological characterization conducted in Myanmar.