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International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research
ISSN Online 2229-5518
ISSN Print: 2229-5518 9    
Website: http://www.ijser.org
scirp IJSER >> Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2011
Assessing of Groundwater Contamination by Toxic Elements through Multivariate Statistics and Spatial Interpolation, Wadi Fatimah, Western Arabian Shield, Saudi Arabia
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Mohammed Amin M. Sharaf and Ali M. Subyani
Groundwater pollution, Multivariate statistics, Wadi Fatimah, Saudi Arabia
Groundwater is present in the shallow alluvial and fractured bedrocks aquifers of wadi Fatimah, west central Arabian Shield, Saudi Arabia. The impact of human activities and natural processes on groundwater quality is one of the major serious problems for sustainable development in this area. 80 well-representative groundwater samples were analyzed for the total 17 water quality descriptors (variables) including toxic elements which are not considered in traditional techniques for water quality assessments. This study was to assess the levels of groundwater contamination of toxic elements and their spatial distribution in the region, and to identify possible anthropogenic and natural sources of contamination in the area. Multivariate statistical techniques were performed in this study. Cluster analysis in both R and Q modes was used. R-mode analysis is interpreted and there are three major groups. Q-mode shows three main groups related to the same geological formation. Factor analysis revealed that the first three factors account for 85% of the total variance. Factor 1 revealed high loading of Al, Li, B and Cd, suggested interaction between water and geological formation. The second factor represented high loading of As, Pb and Hg, suggested human and agricultural activities. Factor three represented high loading of Si and Fe, which may be resulted from water/weather rock interactions.
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