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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2022)

Hydrogeological and hydrochemical characterisation of the area around the Kusile Power Station, Mpumalanga.

Dlamini, Andile Eugene

Titre : Hydrogeological and hydrochemical characterisation of the area around the Kusile Power Station, Mpumalanga.

Auteur : Dlamini, Andile Eugene.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Hydrogeology 2022

Résumé partiel
South Africa is a water-stressed country where the security of water supply has become a key strategic issue and a driver for continued and sustained economic growth and service delivery to the people of the country. Urbanisation at a rapid pace, mounting need for new energy, climate change, and swelling demands for water resources are some of the problems faced by South Africa. The construction and operations of the Kusile Power Station may release contaminants to the environment that may result in pollution of water resources. Therefore, monitoring both surface and groundwater quality and analysing the observed data are crucial for planning, resource allocation, and conservation decisions. This study investigates the hydrogeological conditions around the Kusile coal-fired power station located in quaternary catchment B20F in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The main aim of the research is to improve understanding of the prevailing hydrochemistry, surface water and groundwater quality and to identify the most influential processes responsible for the hydrochemical composition of groundwater and its spatial variability in the area. Hydrogeological, hydrochemical and environmental isotope (δ2H, δ18O, 3H) data collected from a series of field measurements and sampling campaigns was collated, analysed and interpreted to conceptualize the hydrogeological and hydrochemical conditions of the study area. Multivariate statistical analyses including principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were used to evaluate the major hydrochemical processes controlling the hydrochemistry of groundwater within the study area. Furthermore, the non-parametric Mann-Kendall method was used to analyse trends in the groundwater levels together with the hydrochemical data from the year 2008 to 2018.

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