Journal: Water Conservation and Management (WCM)
Author: Rusli HAR, Aprisal, Isril Berd, Lambok M. Hutasoit, Denny Akbar Tanjung, Syahbudin Hasibuan
Print ISSN : 2523-5664
Online ISSN : 2523-5672

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Doi: 10.26480/wcm.01.2024.24.30


Principal ion analysis is a method for determining the maturity level (age) of water and helps describe the direction of flow that has passed through the hydrologic system. This analysis can be used to determine the type of groundwater. Classification of water types can be done using the Piper Diagram. The Piper diagram is a graphical representation of the chemical composition of a sample. Anions and Cations are shown by separate triangular diagram plots. The purpose of this study is to determine the type of groundwater in the city of Padang. Sampling begins in November–December 2022. The research area consists of the Bungus, Pisang, and combined sample DAS. The type of water is determined by analyzing the ions with qualitative and quantitative methods. Water samples were obtained from hand drills, with the data distribution representing each study area. The results obtained were analyzed using the Piper Trilinear diagram method. From the processing of the Piper Trilinear Diagram Method, two types of water were obtained in Padang City, namely: CaSO4 Facies and NaCl Facies.


Alkali-water, Anion, Cation, Piper Trilinier Diagram, Watershed


The city of Padang is the largest city on the west coast of the island of Sumatra and is the capital of West Sumatra Province in Indonesia. This city is Indonesia’s western entrance from the Indian Ocean. Geographically, Padang is surrounded by hills with an altitude of 1,853 meters above sea level and an area of 693.66 km², more than half (60%) is protected forest and around 205,007 km² is an effective urban area. Based on data from Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency (BPS) for 2021, this city has a population of 909,040 people. With this population, water is of course the main commodity for the basic needs of every soul. In addition, water is also used as an agricultural and industrial commodity. Availability and quality of water are the most important factors for well-being. The availability of water is affected by the rate of soil absorption in the precipitation process and has an impact on water balance, especially in dry areas.(Sonia Chamizo et al. 2012).

Infiltration, namely the process of changing rainwater into soilwater towards downward flow or gravity. This infiltration rate can be determined by determining the initial infiltration rate, fixed infiltration rate, and average infiltration rate. This is an important hydrological parameter. The quantity of infiltration capacity is very important to maintain water balance concerning the basic needs of humans, plants/cultivation, and industry (Wu et al. 2016).
The infiltration rate is affected by the bottom biomass (BGB), soil water content (SWC), and other soil properties such as total soil porosity, soil diameter average weight, and soil organic (carbon) (S. Chamizo et al. 2015). Other studies also state that soil infiltration capacity is generally influenced by various soil and vegetation properties such as porosity, organic matter, root mass, and density. Soil organic matter and soil aggregation nearly tripled water infiltration (Sonia Chamizo et al., 2012;,Wu et al., 2020; Franzluebbers 2002; Cui et al., 2019).

In addition, the internal characteristics and external morphology of the biocrust are also key factors in the storage and movement of soilwater (S. Chamizo et al. 2015),(Jia et al. 2018) Water resistance reflects the fact that water cannot or only has difficulty wetting the surface of soil particles. This is one of the most important soil physical properties (Benito Rueda et al., 2016) Water shields are a common phenomenon in terrestrial ecosystems that can prevent water from entering (Fischer et al. 2010; Roncero-Ramos et al. 2019) So that soilwater can be utilized by its designation. Of course, biocrust can significantly improve the physicochemical properties of soil as well as being able to control nutrient cycling and hydrological processes (Bowker et al.,2013; S. Chamizo et al., 2015; Coppola et al., 2011).

Apart from the availability of water, the ionic species contained in water is an important topic of discussion in water use as in previous studies have explained that the movement of soil particles and nutrients can be caused by various forms of erosion, such as water erosion (spout, sheet and gully erosion), wind erosion, gravity erosion, and freeze-thaw erosion. Soil erosion can pose a significant threat to environmental quality because it causes the loss of important soil nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and many other elements required for plant growth (Martínez-Mena et al., 2020; Ketema and Dwarakish 2021; Kong et al., 2022; An et al. 2023).
Mining also contributes to leaving large amounts of solid waste (Vaziri et al. 2021). This has the potential to cause water to migrate into Acid Mine Water (AMD) and cause environmental damage if not managed properly.(Bao et al., 2020; Molson et al., 2005; Tum et al., 2023).

In addition to the infiltration rate, the type of groundwater is also a concern in its use, so that groundwater can be used according to the types of cations and anions contained therein. As it is known, groundwater is classified into several types in the piper diagram, such as: gypsum and mine waste groundwater types; seawater and ancient groundwater types; shallow and fresh groundwater types; and deep groundwater types, which are affected by ion exchange. In this work, researchers analyze the chemical content and amount of minerals in groundwater (cations and anions) in the city of Padang, Indonesia. Furthermore, it is analyzed using the Piper Trilinear Diagram (Piper, 1944) method to classify the types of groundwater. This method uses the main ions contained in groundwater with concentrations exceeding 1 mg/liter. The composition of the main ions in groundwater, consisting of anions and cations dissolved in water, is shown in Table 1. Meanwhile, the Trilinear Piper Diagram model is presented in Figure 1.

This work has never been done by researchers before, and the results of this study are very useful to be used as a reference in the use of groundwater to suit its designation.


2.1 Studied Area

The hydrogeological survey was carried out by measuring the water level in the city of Padang. water table data obtained from the results of hand drilling with data distribution representing the study area. The sample points for each study area are not the same as those for other study areas, so the ease of obtaining samples is a consideration. The three watersheds selected as sample objects consist of the Bungus watershed (2 sample points), Sungai Pisang watershed (2 sample points) and a combination of the two watersheds (14 sample points).

2.2 Cations and Anions Testing

Water samples obtained from the results of the hydrogeological survey are then analyzed in the laboratory to determine the concentration of the ions in it. The number of water samples analyzed was 18 samples with analysis parameters including HCO3-, CO32-, Cl-, SO42-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, and K+. For testing the main ion content, water samples were filtered as much as 1 L without preservation Analisis Diagram Piper.

The Piper diagram is a graphical representation of the chemical composition of the sample. Cations and anions are shown by separate triangular diagram plots. The ends of the cation triangle diagram are calcium, magnesium, and sodium plus potassium. The ends of the triangle diagram of the anions are sulfate, chloride, and carbonate plus hydrogen carbonate. These two triangular diagrams are projected onto the diamond plot. This diamond plot is a transformation matrix graph of anions (sulfate + chloride) and cations (sodium + potassium) (Piper 1944). Furthermore, the results of data processing using a piper diagram will show the water facies in the study area.

2.3 Piper Trilinier Diagram Analysis

Figure 1 shows that the ends of the cation triangle diagram are Calcium, Magnesium and Sodium plus Potassium. while the ends of the anion triangle diagram are Sulfate, Chloride, and Carbonate plus Hydrogen Carbonate. The two triangular diagrams are projected onto a parallelogram plot which is a graphical transformation matrix of anions and cations and functions as a determinant of soilwater types.

In order to obtain the concentration values of each anion and cation, laboratory analysis was carried out on soilwater samples taken at random in the study area. The number of samples taken and analyzed was 19 sample points, with the parameters tested: Na, Ca, K, Mg, HCO3, CO3, Cl and SO4. From the results of the laboratory analysis, the main ions were taken to be plotted on the Piper Linear Diagram with the following procedure:

i. Group the ions into anions and cations. The anions are: HCO3-, CO32-, Cl-, and SO42-. While the cations are: Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, and K+.
ii. The concentration of ions from the results of laboratory analysis has units of mg/liter or ppm converted to units of Eq/liter. The conversion factor is: 1 mEq/liter = 50.12 ppm or 1 ppm = 2×10-5 Eq/liter.
iii. The concentration value in units of Eq/liter is divided by the weight of each ion, then multiplied by the charge (valence) of each ion.
iv. Make percentages for cations and anions from the calculation above, then plot the values of cations in the left triangle and anions in the right triangle based on the percentages that have been made.
v. Project the points on the cation and anion triangle onto a parallelogram to get the type of soilwater in the study area.

Figure 1: Piper Trilinear Diagram



3.1 Anion and Cation Tests in the Bungus Watershed Sample

The reference in determining the type of water using dissolved ion chemical data is based on the trilinear diagram analysis formulated by Piper (1944). The mechanism used is plotting the dots on the diagram according to the dominance of ions (cations-anions) present in water. Both anions and cations will be plotted separately on the plane on the left and right, then drawn perpendicular to the main plane in the middle. In its distribution, there are three major facies: Alkaline Earth Water with indications that water originates from recharge or recharge areas, Alkaline Earth Water Higher Alkaline Content with indications that water has moved away from recharge areas towards downstream, and Alkaline Water with indications that the soilwater level has reach downstream.

3.2 Anion and Cation Tests in the Sungai Pisang Watershed Sample

Figure 3: Piper diagram of the Sungai Pisang sample

3.3 Anion and Cation Tests in the Combined Watershed Sample

Figure 4: Piper diagram of a combined sample of watersheds

From the processing of diagrams and piper tables, there are two types or facies of groundwater in Padang City, namely: Facies CaSO4 (Alkaline Groundwater dominated by sulfate) characterize groundwater that is indicated to have interacted with clay, which is rich in minerals such as Mg2+, Ca2+, and others, and some volcanic rocks, and NaCl facies (alkaline groundwater mainly sodium chloride). This facies characterizes the origin of groundwater mixed with chloride brine from seawater and the interaction of clay mineral-rich rocks from the dominant Na+ alluvium layer.The aquifer lithology conditions in Padang City affect the facies, or origin, of the water. The geographical location on the coast and hilly land contours causes the spread of alluvium layer minerals, which are rich in sodium (Na+) and calcium minerals with anions in the form of chloride (Cl-) or sulfate (SO42-), which will form water with the CaSO4 facies (Alkaline Earth). Water (predominantly sulfate-Calcium) and NaCl facies (alkaline) Water is predominantly chloride-Sodium.


Padang City has two types or facies of water, namely the CaSO4 facies and the NaCl facies. The CaSO4 facies is formed from water associated with mineral-rich rocks such as clay (containing cations such as Mg2+ and Ca2+) and volcanic rocks. Meanwhile, the NaCl Facies are formed due to the connection of groundwater with seawater due to the geographical location of the city, which is adjacent to the sea. The lithological condition of the Padang City aquifer affects the facies or origin of groundwater. The mineral distribution of the alluvium layer, which is rich in sodium (Na+) minerals with anions in the form of chloride (Cl-) or sulfate (SO42-), will form groundwater with the CaSO4 facies (Alkaline Earth Water Predominantly Calcium-Sulfate) and NaCl facies (Alkaline Water Predominantly Natrium-Chloride).


The authors would like to thank the head of the Bogor soil research institute Laboratory, Faperta soil laboratory- Andalas University, Civil Engineering Laboratory, FT- UNP, FT Mining engineering laboratory, UNP and MIPA-UNP laboratory who have provided facilities in carrying out this author.


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Pages 24-30
Year 2024
Issue 1
Volume 8