Exploratory and spatial data analysis (EDA-SDA) for determining regional background levels and anomalies of potentially toxic elements in soils from Catorce-Matehuala, Mexico

Applied Geochemistry
By: , and 

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Abstract

The threshold between geochemical background and anomalies can be influenced by the methodology selected for its estimation. Environmental evaluations, particularly those conducted in mineralized areas, must consider this when trying to determinate the natural geochemical status of a study area, quantifying human impacts, or establishing soil restoration values for contaminated sites. Some methods in environmental geochemistry incorporate the premise that anomalies (natural or anthropogenic) and background data are characterized by their own probabilistic distributions. One of these methods uses exploratory data analysis (EDA) on regional geochemical data sets coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) to spatially understand the processes that influence the geochemical landscape in a technique that can be called a spatial data analysis (SDA). This EDA-SDA methodology was used to establish the regional background range from the area of Catorce-Matehuala in north-central Mexico. Probability plots of the data, particularly for those areas affected by human activities, show that the regional geochemical background population is composed of smaller subpopulations associated with factors such as soil type and parent material. This paper demonstrates that the EDA-SDA method offers more certainty in defining thresholds between geochemical background and anomaly than a numeric technique, making it a useful tool for regional geochemical landscape analysis and environmental geochemistry studies.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Exploratory and spatial data analysis (EDA-SDA) for determining regional background levels and anomalies of potentially toxic elements in soils from Catorce-Matehuala, Mexico
Series title Applied Geochemistry
DOI 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2009.04.022
Volume 24
Issue 8
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry
Publisher location New York, NY
Description 11 p.
First page 1579
Last page 1589
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N