The study of hydrogeochemistry of the Mio-Pliocene sedimentary rock aquifer system in Veeranam catchment area produced a large geochemical dataset. Groundwater samples were collected at 52 sites over 963.86 km2 area and analyzed for major ions. The large number of data can lead to difficulties in the integration, interpretation and representation of the results. Two multivariate statistical methods, Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and Factor analysis (FA), were applied to a subgroup of the dataset to evaluate their usefulness to classify the groundwater samples, and to identify geochemical processes controlling groundwater geochemistry. Hydrochemical data for 52 groundwater samples were subjected to Q- and R- mode factor and cluster analysis. R-mode analysis reveals the inter-relations among the variables studied and the Q-mode analysis reveals the inter-relations among the samples studied. The R-mode factor analysis shows that Ca, Mg and Cl with HCO3 account for most of the electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids and total hardness of groundwater. The 'single dominance' nature of the majority of the factors in the R-mode analysis indicates non-mixing or partial mixing of different types of groundwater. Both Q-mode factor and Q-mode cluster analyses indicate an exchange between the river water and the groundwater in the vicinity. The rock water interaction like flood basin back swamp deposits of silty clayey formation is the major cause for the cluster II classification. Cluster classification map reveals that 58% of the study area comes under cluster II classification.
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