Environmental statistics are concerned with the application of statistical methods to the design and analysis of studies of the natural environment. It is convenient to classify environmental studies into three categories: (a) synoptic or surveillance characterized by a limited number of samples collected once or a few times; (b) long-term monitoring, which usually involves collecting samples at regular, widely spaced intervals over several years; and (c) intensive monitoring, in which a large number of samples are collected in a short time period.
The design of sampling programs and the analysis of data must separately and jointly account for temporal and spatial factors as they affect the biotic, chemical, physical, and geologic components of the sampled environments. In addition, it must be made clear whether the sample is a ‘grab’ or a composite, and the type of compositing process used. For example, water quality monitoring programs often collect grab samples at a fixed location...
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