Monitoring procedures in environmental geochemistry and compositional data analysis theory

Buccianti, Antonella
Vaselli, Orlando
Nisi, Barbara
Minissale, Angelo
Tassi, Franco
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First discussion on compositional data analysis is attributable to Karl Pearson, in 1897. However, notwithstanding the recent developments on algebraic structure of the simplex, more than twenty years after Aitchison’s idea of log-transformations of closed data, scientific literature is again full of statistical treatments of this type of data by using traditional methodologies. This is particularly true in environmental geochemistry where besides the problem of the closure, the spatial structure (dependence) of the data have to be considered. In this work we propose the use of log-contrast values, obtained by a simplicial principal component analysis, as LQGLFDWRUV of given environmental conditions. The investigation of the log-constrast frequency distributions allows pointing out the statistical laws able to generate the values and to govern their variability. The changes, if compared, for example, with the mean values of the random variables assumed as models, or other reference parameters, allow defining monitors to be used to assess the extent of possible environmental contamination. Case study on running and ground waters from Chiavenna Valley (Northern Italy) by using Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, HCO3-, SO4 2- and Cl- concentrations will be illustrated ​
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