Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 959–978 | Cite as

Water Quality Assessment Using Multivariate Statistical Methods—A Case Study: Melen River System (Turkey)

  • Rabia Koklu
  • Bulent Sengorur
  • Bayram Topal
Open Access


This study is focused on water quality of Melen River (Turkey) and evaluation of 26 physical and chemical pollution data obtained five monitoring stations during the period 1995–2006. It presents the application of multivariate statistical methods to the data set, namely, principal component and factor analysis (PCA/FA), multiple regression analysis (MRA) and discriminant analysis (DA). The PCA/FA was employed to evaluate the high–low flow periods correlations of water quality parameters, while the principal factor analysis technique was used to extract the parameters that are most important in assessing high–low flow periods variations of river water quality. Latent factors were identified as responsible for data structure explaining 72–97% of the total variance of the each data sets. PCA/FA was supported with multiple regression analysis to determine the most important parameter in each factor. It examines the relation between a single dependent variable and a set of independent variables to best represent the relation in the each factor. Obtained important parameters provided us to determine the major pollution sources in Melen River Basin. So factors are conditionally named soil structure and erosion, domestic, municipal and industrial effluents, agricultural activities (fertilizer, irrigation water and livestock wastes), atmospheric deposition and seasonal effects factors. DA applied the data set to obtain the parameters responsible for temporal and spatial variations. Assessment of high–low flow period changes in surface water quality is an important aspect for evaluating temporal and spatial variations of river pollution. The aim of this study is illustration the usefulness of multivariate statistical analysis for evaluation of complex data sets, in Melen River water quality assessment identification of factors and pollution sources, for effective water quality management determination the spatial and temporal variations in water quality.


Surface water quality Multivariate statistical analysis Parameter reduction Melen River 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering DepartmentSakarya UniversitySakaryaTurkey
  2. 2.Industrial Engineering DepartmentSakarya UniversitySakaryaTurkey

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