Environmental Management

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 383–392 | Cite as

Evaluating the effects of spatial monitoring policy on groundwater quality portrayal

  • Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach


What size sample is sufficient for spatially sampling ambient groundwater quality? Water quality data are only as spatially accurate as the geographic sampling strategies used to collect them. This research used sequential sampling and regression analysis to evaluate groundwater quality spatial sampling policy changes proposed by California's Department of Water Resources. Iterative or sequential sampling of a hypothetical groundwater basin's water quality produced data sets from sample sizes ranging from 2.8% to 95% coverage of available point sample sites. Contour maps based on these sample data sets were compared to an original (control), mapped hypothetical data set, to determine at which point map information content and pattern portrayal are not improved by increasing sample sizes. Comparing series of contour maps of ground water quality concentration is a common means of evaluating the geographic extent of groundwater quality change. Comparisons included visual inspection of contout maps and statistical tests on digital versions of these map files, including correlation and regression products. This research demonstrated that, down to about 15% sample site coverage, there is no difference between contour maps produced from the different sampling strategies and the contout map of the original data set.

Key Words

Spatial sampling Groundwater quality monitoring Regression analysis Contour mapping Water resources geography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Earth Systems ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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