The present study is aimed at assessing the water quality and discussing the hydrochemical characteristics and seasonal variation of shallow groundwater on the aspect of metals in the eastern Chancheng district of Foshan city, south China. Multivariate analytical methods such as principal components analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were used in this study. The results show that 45% of groundwater in the east-central of study area is not suitable for drinking purpose due to high concentrations of Fe, Pb and Mn. The mean concentrations of Fe, Hg, Cu, Pb, and Mn in dry season are higher than that in wet season. On the contrary, the mean concentrations of Cd, Co, Zn, Ba, Cr, Mo, Ni and Al in wet season are higher than that in dry season. PCA results show that four PCs are responsible for the 78.6% of the total hydrochemical variables in groundwater. Three groups were generated from HCA method. Group 1 re?ects the characteristic of wet season and the low ion exchange capacity; group 2 is mainly in?uenced by the dry season. Reducing environment and high ion exchange capacity are responsible for group 3. The results are useful in addressing future measures in groundwater resource management for local government.

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