Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 385, Issue 4, pp 771–779 | Cite as

Chemometric analysis of soil pollution data using the Tucker N-way method

  • I. Stanimirova
  • K. Zehl
  • D. L. Massart
  • Y. Vander Heyden
  • J. W. Einax
Original Paper


N-way methods, particularly the Tucker method, are often the methods of choice when analyzing data sets arranged in three- (or higher) way arrays, which is the case for most environmental data sets. In the future, applying N-way methods will become an increasingly popular way to uncover hidden information in complex data sets. The reason for this is that classical two-way approaches such as principal component analysis are not as good at revealing the complex relationships present in data sets. This study describes in detail the application of a chemometric N-way approach, namely the Tucker method, in order to evaluate the level of pollution in soil from a contaminated site. The analyzed soil data set was five-way in nature. The samples were collected at different depths (way 1) from two locations (way 2) and the levels of thirteen metals (way 3) were analyzed using a four-step-sequential extraction procedure (way 4), allowing detailed information to be obtained about the bioavailability and activity of the different binding forms of the metals. Furthermore, the measurements were performed under two conditions (way 5), inert and non-inert. The preferred Tucker model of definite complexity showed that there was no significant difference in measurements analyzed under inert or non-inert conditions. It also allowed two depth horizons, characterized by different accumulation pathways, to be distinguished, and it allowed the relationships between chemical elements and their biological activities and mobilities in the soil to be described in detail.


Chemometrics Heavy metal pollution Tucker Sequential extraction Soil 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Stanimirova
    • 1
    • 3
  • K. Zehl
    • 2
  • D. L. Massart
    • 1
  • Y. Vander Heyden
    • 1
  • J. W. Einax
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Analytical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical TechnologyVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryFriedrich Schiller University of JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Chemometrics, Institute of ChemistryThe University of SilesiaKatowicePoland

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