Assessment of seasonal variations of chemical characteristics in surface water using multivariate statistical methods|
Zare Garizi, A.; Sheikh, V. & Sadoddin, A.
Water pollution has become a growing threat to human society and natural ecosystems in the recent decades. Assessment of seasonal changes in water quality is important for evaluating temporal variations of river pollution. In this study, seasonal variations of chemical characteristics of surface water for the Chehelchay watershed in northeast of Iran was investigated. Various multivariate statistical techniques, including multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis, principal component analysis and factor analysis were applied to analyze river water quality data set containing 12 parameters recorded during 13 years within 1995-2008. The results showed that river water quality has significant seasonal changes. Discriminant analysis identified most important parameters contributing to seasonal variations of river water quality. The analysis rendered a dramatic data reduction using only five parameters: electrical conductivity, chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate and hardness, which correctly assigned 70.2 % of the observations to their respective seasonal groups. Principal component analysis / factor analysis assisted to recognize the factors or origins responsible for seasonal water quality variations. It was determined that in each season more than 80 % of the total variance is explained by three latent factors standing for salinity, weathering-related processes and alkalinity, respectively. Generally, the analysis of water quality data revealed that the Chehelchay River water chemistry is strongly affected by rock water interaction, hydrologic processes and anthropogenic activities. This study demonstrates the usefulness of multivariate statistical approaches for analysis and interpretation of water quality data, identification of pollution sources and understanding of temporal variations in water quality for effective river water quality management.
Discriminant analysis; Factor analysis; Multivariate analysis of variance; Principal component analysis; Water quality