Multivariate Statistical Analysis: a tool for groundwater quality assessment in the hidrogeologic region of the Ring of Cenotes, Yucatan, Mexico.
Monday, 15 December 2014
The karstic aquifer of Yucatan is a vulnerable and complex system. The first fifteen meters of this aquifer have been polluted, due to this the protection of this resource is important because is the only source of potable water of the entire State. Through the assessment of groundwater quality we can gain some knowledge about the main processes governing water chemistry as well as spatial patterns which are important to establish protection zones. In this work multivariate statistical techniques are used to assess the groundwater quality of the supply wells (30 to 40 meters deep) in the hidrogeologic region of the Ring of Cenotes, located in Yucatan, Mexico. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis are applied in groundwater chemistry data of the study area. Results of principal component analysis show that the main sources of variation in the data are due sea water intrusion and the interaction of the water with the carbonate rocks of the system and some pollution processes. The cluster analysis shows that the data can be divided in four clusters. The spatial distribution of the clusters seems to be random, but is consistent with sea water intrusion and pollution with nitrates. The overall results show that multivariate statistical analysis can be successfully applied in the groundwater quality assessment of this karstic aquifer.