Groundwater is a valuable natural resource for various human activities. Factor analysis was applied to the hydrochemical data from the coastal plain-sand (Benin Formation) aquifers of Owerri in order to extract the principal factors responsible for the different hydrochemical facies. By using Kaiser Normalization, the principal factors were extracted from the data. The analysis reveals five sources of solutes. The processes responsible for their enrichment includes: leaching of the overlying rock, seawater intrusion, chemical weathering, agricultural practices, dissolution of carbonate mineral and industrial effluent. Such processes are dominated by the significant role of anthropogenic interference with the groundwater from the aquifer in the area. The identified factors have contributed to the changes of the groundwater chemistry. The effectiveness of the method in characterizing groundwater hydrochemical facies is very high.
Key words: Factor analysis, groundwater chemistry, Benin formation, Owerri, Nigeria.
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