Skip to main content

Application of multivariate statistical techniques to evaluation of water quality in the Mała Wełna River (Western Poland)


The paper presents the results of determinations of physico-chemical parameters of the Mała Wełna waters, a river situated in Wielkopolska voivodeship (Western Poland). Samples for the physico-chemical analysis were taken in eight gauging cross-sections once a month between May and November 2006. To assess the physico-chemical composition of surface water, use was made of multivariate statistical methods of data analysis, viz. cluster analysis (CA), factor analysis (FA), principal components analysis (PCA), and discriminant analysis (DA). They made it possible to observe similarities and differences in the physico-chemical composition of water in the gauging cross-sections, to identify water quality indicators suitable for characterising its temporal and spatial variability, to uncover hidden factors accounting for the structure of the data, and to assess the impact of man-made sources of water pollution.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Brodnjak-Voncina, D., Dobcnik, D., Novic, M., & Zupan, J. (2002). Chemometrics characterisation of the quality of river water. Analytica Chimica Acta, 462, 87–100.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Charkhabi, A. H., & Sakizadeh, M. (2006). Assessment of spatial variation of water quality parameters in the most polluted branch of the Anzali wetland, Northern Iran. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 15, 395–403.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Czarnecka, H. (2005). Hydrographic division of Poland, vols 1 and 2. Warsaw IMGW (in Polish).

  • Einax, J. W., Truckenbrodt, D., & Kampe, O. (1998). River pollution data interpreted by means of chemometric methods. Microchemical Journal, 58, 315–324.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kannel, R. P., Lee, S., Kanel, S. R., & Kahn, S. P. (2007). Chemometric application in classification and assessment of monitoring location of an urban river system. Analytical Chimica Acta, 582, 390–399.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kondracki, J. (2000). Geography, geographic and physical mesoregions, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo Naukowe (in Polish).

  • Kowalkowski, T., Zbytniewski, R., Szpejna, J., & Buszewski, B. (2006). Application of chemometrics in river water classification. Water Research, 40, 744–752.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu, C. W., Lin, K. H., & Kuo, Y. M. (2003). Application of factor analysis in the assessment of groundwater quality in blackfoot disease in Taiwan. The Science of the Total Environment, 313, 77–89.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Marques da Silva, A. M., & Sacomani, L. B. (2001). Using chemical and physical parameters to define the quality of Pardo river water (Botucatu – SP-Brazil). Water Research, 35, 1609–1616.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mazerski, J. (2000). Fundamentals of chemometrics, Gdańsk, Wydawnictwo Politechniki Gdańskiej (in Polish).

  • Mendiguchia, C., Moreno, C., Galindo-Riano, M. D., & Garcia-Vargas, M. (2004). Using chemometric tools to assess anthropogenic effect in river water, a case study: Guadalquivir River (Spain). Analytical Chimica Acta, 515, 143–149.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ouyang, Y. (2005). Evaluation of river water quality monitoring stations by principal component analysis. Water Research, 39, 2621–2635.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ouyang, Y., Nkedi-Kizza, P., Wu, Q. T., Shinde, D., & Huang, C. H. (2006). Assessment of seasonal variations in surface water quality. Water Research, 40, 3800–3810.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Panda, U. C., Sundary, S. K., Rath, P., Nayak, B. B., & Bhatta, D. (2006). Application of factor and cluster analysis for characterization of river and estuarine water system – A case study: Mahanadi River (India). Journal of Hydrology, 331, 434–445.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • PN-EN ISO 5667-3 (2005). Water quality. Part 3: Guidelines for the fixing and treatment of water samples (in Polish).

  • Shrestha, S., & Kazama, F. (2007). Assessment of surface water quality using multivariate statistical techniques: A case study of the Fuji river basin, Japan. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 22, 464–475.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simeonov, V., Einax, J. W., Stanimirova, I., & Kraft, J. (2002). Environmetric modeling and interpretation of river water monitoring data. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 374, 898–905.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Simeonov, V., Sarbu, C., Massart, D. L., & Tasakovski, S. (2001). Danube river water data modeling by multivariate data analysis. Microchimica Acta, 137, 243–248.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Simeonov, V., Stefanov, S., & Tasakovski, S. (2000). Environmetrical treatment of water quality survey data from Yantra Rive, Bulgaria. Microchimica Acta, 134, 15–21.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Simeonov, V., Stratis, J. A., Samara, C., Zachariadis, G., Voutsa, D., Anthemidis, A., et al. (2003). Assessment of the surface water quality in Northern Greece. Water Research, 37, 4119–4124.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, K. P., Malik, A., Mohan, D., & Sinha, S. (2004). Multivariate statistical techniques for the evaluation of spatial and temporal variations in water quality of Gomti River (India) – A case study. Water Research, 38, 3980–3992.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, K. P., Malik, A., & Singh, V. K. (2005a). Chemometric analysis of hydro-chemical data of an alluvial river – A case study. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 170, 383–404.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh, K. P., Malik, A., & Sinha, S. (2005b). Water quality assessment and apportionment of pollution sources of Gomti river (India) using multivariate statistical techniques– A case study. Analytical Chimica Acta, 538, 355–374.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sotelo, F. M., Andrade, J. M., Carlosena, A., & Tauler, R. (2007). Temporal characterization of river waters in urban and semi-urban areas using physico-chemical parameters and chemometrics methods. Analytical Chimica Acta, 583, 128–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sundaray, S. K., Panda, U. C., Nayak, B. B., & Bhatta, D. (2006). Multivariate statistical techniques for the evaluation of the Mahanadi river-estuarine system (India) – A case study. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 28, 317–330.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tarrado, M., Barcelo, D., & Tauler, R. (2006). Identification and distribution of contamination sources in the Erbo river basin by chemometrics modeling coupled to geographical information systems. Talanta, 70, 691–704.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vega, M., Pardo, R., Barrado, E., & Deban, L. (1998). Assessment of seasonal and polluting effects on the quality of river water by exploratory data analysis. Water Research, 32, 3581–3592.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zeilhofer, P., Lima, E. B. N. R., & Lima, G. A. R. (2006). Spatial patterns of water quality in the Cuiaba river basin, Central Brazil. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 123, 41–62.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Siepak.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sojka, M., Siepak, M., Zioła, A. et al. Application of multivariate statistical techniques to evaluation of water quality in the Mała Wełna River (Western Poland). Environ Monit Assess 147, 159–170 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Mała Wełna river
  • Agricultural catchment
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Water quality
  • Multivariate statistical techniques