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A Factor analysis of hidrochemical composition of Llobregat river basin
Otero Pérez, Neus; Tolosana Delgado, Raimon; Soler i Gil, Albert
Thió i Fernández de Henestrosa, Santiago; Martín Fernández, Josep Antoni; Universitat de Girona. Departament d’Informàtica i Matemàtica Aplicada
Hydrogeological research usually includes some statistical studies devised to elucidate mean background state, characterise relationships among different hydrochemical parameters, and show the influence of human activities. These goals are achieved either by means of a statistical approach or by mixing modelsbetween end-members. Compositional data analysis has proved to be effective with the first approach, but there is no commonly accepted solution to the end-member problem in a compositional framework.We present here a possible solution based on factor analysis of compositions illustrated with a case study.We find two factors on the compositional bi-plot fitting two non-centered orthogonal axes to the most representative variables. Each one of these axes defines a subcomposition, grouping those variables thatlay nearest to it. With each subcomposition a log-contrast is computed and rewritten as an equilibrium equation. These two factors can be interpreted as the isometric log-ratio coordinates (ilr) of three hiddencomponents, that can be plotted in a ternary diagram. These hidden components might be interpreted as end-members.We have analysed 14 molarities in 31 sampling stations all along the Llobregat River and its tributaries, with a monthly measure during two years. We have obtained a bi-plot with a 57% of explained totalvariance, from which we have extracted two factors: factor G, reflecting geological background enhanced by potash mining; and factor A, essentially controlled by urban and/or farming wastewater. Graphicalrepresentation of these two factors allows us to identify three extreme samples, corresponding to pristine waters, potash mining influence and urban sewage influence. To confirm this, we have available analysisof diffused and widespread point sources identified in the area: springs, potash mining lixiviates, sewage, and fertilisers. Each one of these sources shows a clear link with one of the extreme samples, exceptfertilisers due to the heterogeneity of their composition.This approach is a useful tool to distinguish end-members, and characterise them, an issue generally difficult to solve. It is worth note that the end-member composition cannot be fully estimated but only characterised through log-ratio relationships among components. Moreover, the influence of each endmember in a given sample must be evaluated in relative terms of the other samples. These limitations areintrinsic to the relative nature of compositional data
Geologische Vereinigung; Universitat de Barcelona, Equip de Recerca Arqueomètrica; Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya; International Association for Mathematical Geology; Patronat de l’Escola Politècnica Superior de la Universitat de Girona; Fundació privada: Girona, Universitat i Futur.
Hidrogeologia -- Mètodes estadístics
Aigua -- Química
Llobregat (Catalunya : Curs d'aigua)
Tots els drets reservats
Universitat de Girona. Departament d’Informàtica i Matemàtica Aplicada

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