Spatial variations in chemical compositions along Langtang–Narayani river system in central Nepal


Surface water samples were collected from Langtang Lirung glacier outlet point to the Narayani river system in central Nepal in order to investigate the role of elevation in the variation of chemistry along the drainage networks. The chemistry of Langtang–Narayani river system was dominated by sulfide oxidation coupled with carbonate dissolution and weathering of silicate minerals. Calcium and magnesium concentrations were relatively higher than other cations and the sum of both species strongly correlated with alkalinity, supporting the dissolution of carbonate and dolomite as the dominant source for these ions. Aluminosilicate minerals primarily as albite and anorthite appeared as dominant silicate minerals within the drainage basin. Bisiallitization was the dominant type of weathering within the entire drainage system. Hydrogen ion concentration was lower in the low elevation sites than in high elevation sites reflecting the more consumption of carbon dioxide in the low elevation sites due to enhanced chemical weathering rates. Furthermore, major solutes like sum of base cations, silicon as well as alkalinity increased in concentration in the lower elevation sites. All regulating factors appeared to be directly related to elevation and hence elevation appeared to be the prime factor for the variation in chemical species along the Langtang–Narayani river system.


Civil Engineering

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Environmental Geology



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© Springer-Verlag 2008