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Water 2018, 10(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010069

Modified Principal Component Analysis for Identifying Key Environmental Indicators and Application to a Large-Scale Tidal Flat Reclamation

1
Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Development on Shallow Lake of Ministry of Education, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2
College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G1H9, Canada
4
Xuzhou Institute of Ecological Civilization Construction, Xuzhou 221009, China
5
Jiangsu Province Water Resources Department, Nanjing 210029, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract

Identification of the key environmental indicators (KEIs) from a large number of environmental variables is important for environmental management in tidal flat reclamation areas. In this study, a modified principal component analysis approach (MPCA) has been developed for determining the KEIs. The MPCA accounts for the two important attributes of the environmental variables: pollution status and temporal variation, in addition to the commonly considered numerical divergence attribute. It also incorporates the distance correlation (dCor) to replace the Pearson’s correlation to measure the nonlinear interrelationship between the variables. The proposed method was applied to the Tiaozini sand shoal, a large-scale tidal flat reclamation region in China. Five KEIs were identified as dissolved inorganic nitrogen, Cd, petroleum in the water column, Hg, and total organic carbon in the sediment. The identified KEIs were shown to respond well to the biodiversity of phytoplankton. This demonstrated that the identified KEIs adequately represent the environmental condition in the coastal marine system. Therefore, the MPCA is a practicable method for extracting effective indicators that have key roles in the coastal and marine environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: key environmental indicators; tidal flat reclamation; coast; modified principal component analysis key environmental indicators; tidal flat reclamation; coast; modified principal component analysis
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Chu, K.; Liu, W.; She, Y.; Hua, Z.; Tan, M.; Liu, X.; Gu, L.; Jia, Y. Modified Principal Component Analysis for Identifying Key Environmental Indicators and Application to a Large-Scale Tidal Flat Reclamation. Water 2018, 10, 69.

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