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Water Res. 2004 Nov;38(18):3980-92.

Multivariate statistical techniques for the evaluation of spatial and temporal variations in water quality of Gomti River (India)--a case study.

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Environmental Chemistry Section, Industrial Toxicology Research Center, P.O. Box 80, MG Marg, Lucknow 226 001, India.


This case study reports different multivariate statistical techniques applied for evaluation of temporal/spatial variations and interpretation of a large complex water-quality data set obtained during monitoring of Gomti River in Northern part of India. Water quality of the Gomti River, a major tributary of the Ganga River was monitored at eight different sites selected in relatively low, moderate and high pollution regions, regularly over a period of 5 years (1994-1998) for 24 parameters. The complex data matrix (17,790 observations) was treated with different multivariate techniques such as cluster analysis, factor analysis/principal component analysis (FA/PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA). Cluster analysis (CA) showed good results rendering three different groups of similarity between the sampling sites reflecting the different water-quality parameters of the river system. FA/PCA identified six factors, which are responsible for the data structure explaining 71% of the total variance of the data set and allowed to group the selected parameters according to common features as well as to evaluate the incidence of each group on the overall variation in water quality. However, significant data reduction was not achieved, as it needed 14 parameters to explain 71% of both the temporal and spatial changes in water quality. Discriminant analysis showed the best results for data reduction and pattern recognition during both temporal and spatial analysis. Discriminant analysis showed five parameters (pH, temperature, conductivity, total alkalinity and magnesium) affording more than 88% right assignations in temporal analysis, while nine parameters (pH, temperature, alkalinity, Ca-hardness, DO, BOD, chloride, sulfate and TKN) to afford 91% right assignations in spatial analysis of three different regions in the basin. Thus, DA allowed reduction in dimensionality of the large data set, delineating a few indicator parameters responsible for large variations in water quality. This study presents necessity and usefulness of multivariate statistical techniques for evaluation and interpretation of large complex data sets with a view to get better information about the water quality and design of monitoring network for effective management of water resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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