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Analysis of Groundwater Quality Behavior Based on a Statistical Approach: Case Study of Khan Yunis Governorate (Palestine)

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Correlation matrix, principal component analysis (PCA), and cluster analysis were used to improve understanding of complex groundwater systems using scant monitoring data. The applicability of these statistical techniques was assessed using groundwater monitoring data from the Gaza Coastal Aquifer (GCA), which is complex and highly heterogeneous. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis results identified two groundwater contamination patterns, (1) salinization, and (2) interaction between anthropogenic and natural (mineralization) processes. Cluster analysis grouped the study wells into three clusters of similar water quality trends. Analysis of the spatiotemporal trends of chloride and nitrate, the most important groundwater quality parameters, were also performed. This study demonstrates the reliability of these statistical techniques in capturing a basic yet comprehensive view of groundwater quality trends and their influencing variables, and which can subsequently form the basis for groundwater management schemes.

Keywords: Gaza Coastal Aquifer; cluster analysis; correlation matrix; groundwater management; multivariate statistical techniques; principal component analysis (PCA)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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