Graphical statistics to explore the natural and anthropogenic processes influencing the inorganic quality of drinking water, ground water and surface water

Flem, B., Reimann, C., Fabian, K., Birke, M., Filzmoser, P. and Banks, D. (2018) Graphical statistics to explore the natural and anthropogenic processes influencing the inorganic quality of drinking water, ground water and surface water. Applied Geochemistry, 88(Part B), pp. 133-148. (doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.09.006)

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Abstract

Plots of cumulative distribution functions (CDF) are a simple but powerful exploratory data analysis (EDA) tool to evaluate and compare statistical data distributions. Here, empirical CDF plots are used to compare results of four large (476 to 884 samples) national- to continental-scale inorganic water chemistry data sets: (1) European surface water, (2) European tap water, (3) European bottled waters as a proxy for groundwater and (4) Norwegian crystalline bedrock rock groundwater, all analysed at the same laboratory, albeit at different times. For many parameters (e.g., Ba, Cl-, K, SO4 2-) median values and ranges are, given the differing origins and, in some cases, treatment processes of the waters, surprisingly comparable. Unusually high concentrations of some other elements (e.g., B, Be, Br, Cs, F-, Ge, Li, Rb, Te and Zr) appear to be characteristic of deeper-seated, mature groundwaters. Other influences that can be inferred include contamination from well construction or plumbing materials (Cu, Pb, Zn – in tap waters, bottled waters and Norwegian groundwaters), water treatment (Fe, Mn – in tap- and Norwegian groundwater), bottle materials (Sb - bottled waters). The empirical CDF plots also reveal analytical issues for some elements (excessive rounding, element interferences). The best reference for natural and uncontaminated ’water’ is probably provided by the mineral water samples, representing ’deep groundwater’ at the European scale.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Cumulative distribution function, boxplot, heatmap, compositional data, European surface water, groundwater, European bottled water, European tap water.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Mr David
Authors: Flem, B., Reimann, C., Fabian, K., Birke, M., Filzmoser, P., and Banks, D.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Applied Geochemistry
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0883-2927
ISSN (Online):1872-9134
Published Online:15 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Applied Geochemistry 88(Part B): 133-148
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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