, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 175-180

Characterization of groundwater contamination using factor analysis

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 The effluent contamination of groundwater at two industrial sites at Visakhapatnam, India, was studied using factor analysis. Thirty groundwater samples near a zinc smelter plant and 19 from the polymers plant were analyzed for specific conductance, chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. The data were subjected to R-mode factor analysis and the factor scores transferred to areal maps. While magnesium and sulfate are the dominant contaminants at the zinc site, sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate from the effluent are affecting groundwater in the polymers area. Contour maps for each factor suggest the areal extension of the contaminants.

Received: 1 March 1995 · Accepted: 18 September 1995