Chemometric modeling of organic contaminant sources in surface waters of a mediterranean river basin
Chemometric methods are applied to the analysis and interpretation of large multivariate datasets obtained in environmental monitoring studies. Concentrations of multiple organic compounds were measured in river samples taken from several sampling sites, at various geographical locations, during a number of campaigns and/or sampling time periods. Samples were collected and analyzed as part of an extensive multi-annual monitoring program from a mediterranean river basin (in Catalonia, at the northeast of Spain) by the Water Quality Regional Agency. Due to the great amount of multivariate data stored in environmental databases and to their complexity, chemometric modeling methods such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Multivariate Curve Resolution with Alternating Least-Squares (MCR-ALS) coupled with appropriate mapping representations are proposed for the evaluation of the environmental quality of the studied rivers. Results achieved in this study are intended to be a contribution to water quality assessment and evaluation of contamination of surface waters in river basins, and to support public policies of environmental control and management of the regions under study.