Analyses on the Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Water Quality in a Seagoing River Using Multivariate Statistical Techniques: A Case Study in the Duliujian River, China.

Research paper by Xuewei X Sun, Huayong H Zhang, Meifang M Zhong, Zhongyu Z Wang, Xiaoqian X Liang, Tousheng T Huang, Hai H Huang

Indexed on: 07 May '19Published on: 23 Mar '19Published in: International journal of environmental research and public health


In the Duliujian River, 12 water environmental parameters corresponding to 45 sampling sites were analyzed over four seasons. With a statistics test (Spearman correlation coefficient) and multivariate statistical methods, including cluster analysis (CA) and principal components analysis (PCA), the river water quality temporal and spatial patterns were analyzed to evaluate the pollution status and identify the potential pollution sources along the river. CA and PCA results on spatial scale revealed that the upstream was slightly polluted by domestic sewage, while the upper-middle reach was highly polluted due to the sewage from feed mills, furniture and pharmaceutical factories. The middle-lower reach, moderately polluted by sewage from textile, pharmaceutical, petroleum and oil refinery factories as well as fisheries and livestock activities, demonstrated the water purification role of wetland reserves. Seawater intrusion caused serious water pollution in the estuary. Through temporal CA, the four seasons were grouped into three clusters consistent with the hydrological mean, high and low flow periods. The temporal PCA results suggested that nutrient control was the primary task in mean flow period and the monitoring of effluents from feed mills, petrochemical and pharmaceutical factories is more important in the high flow period, while the wastewater from domestic and livestock should be monitored carefully in low flow periods. The results may provide some guidance or inspiration for environmental management.