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Article

Multivariate Analysis Applied to Aquifer Hydrogeochemical Evaluation: A Case Study in the Coastal Significant Subterranean Water Body between “Cecina River and San Vincenzo”, Tuscany (Italy)

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Institute of Earth Sciences, Central University of Venezuela, Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, Caracas 1083, Venezuela
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CGT Center for GeoTechnologies, University of Siena, Via Vetri Vecchi, 34-52027 San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
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GEOexplorer Impresa Sociale S.r.l., Via E. Vezzosi, 15-52100 Arezzo, Italy
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Department of Physics and Earth Science, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat, 1-44122 Ferrara, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dibyendu Sarkar, Jacek Makinia and Anna Mikola
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7595; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167595
Received: 15 July 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 12 August 2021 / Published: 18 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint and Life Cycle Assessment)
The hydrogeochemical characteristics of the significant subterranean water body between “Cecina River and San Vincenzo” (Italy) was evaluated using multivariate statistical analysis methods, like principal component analysis and self-organizing maps (SOMs), with the objective to study the spatiotemporal relationships of the aquifer. The dataset used consisted of the chemical composition of groundwater samples collected between 2010 and 2018 at 16 wells distributed across the whole aquifer. For these wells, all major ions were determined. A self-organizing map of 4 × 8 was constructed to evaluate spatiotemporal changes in the water body. After SOM clustering, we obtained three clusters that successfully grouped all data with similar chemical characteristics. These clusters can be viewed to reflect the presence of three water types: (i) Cluster 1: low salinity/mixed waters; (ii) Cluster 2: high salinity waters; and (iii) Cluster 3: low salinity/fresh waters. Results showed that the major ions had the greater influence over the groundwater chemistry, and the difference in their concentrations allowed the definition of three clusters among the obtained SOM. Temporal changes in cluster assignment were only observed in two wells, located in areas more susceptible to changes in the water table levels, and therefore, hydrodynamic conditions. The result of the SOM clustering was also displayed using the classical hydrochemical approach of the Piper plot. It was observed that these changes were not as easily identified when the raw data were used. The spatial display of the clustering results, allowed the evaluation in a hydrogeological context in a quick and cost-effective way. Thus, our approach can be used to quickly analyze large datasets, suggest recharge areas, and recognize spatiotemporal patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-organizing maps; hydrogeochemical statistical data analysis; groundwater body conceptualization; coastal aquifer self-organizing maps; hydrogeochemical statistical data analysis; groundwater body conceptualization; coastal aquifer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bastianoni, A.; Guastaldi, E.; Barbagli, A.; Bernardinetti, S.; Zirulia, A.; Brancale, M.; Colonna, T. Multivariate Analysis Applied to Aquifer Hydrogeochemical Evaluation: A Case Study in the Coastal Significant Subterranean Water Body between “Cecina River and San Vincenzo”, Tuscany (Italy). Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 7595. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167595

AMA Style

Bastianoni A, Guastaldi E, Barbagli A, Bernardinetti S, Zirulia A, Brancale M, Colonna T. Multivariate Analysis Applied to Aquifer Hydrogeochemical Evaluation: A Case Study in the Coastal Significant Subterranean Water Body between “Cecina River and San Vincenzo”, Tuscany (Italy). Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(16):7595. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167595

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bastianoni, Alessia, Enrico Guastaldi, Alessio Barbagli, Stefano Bernardinetti, Andrea Zirulia, Mariantonietta Brancale, and Tommaso Colonna. 2021. "Multivariate Analysis Applied to Aquifer Hydrogeochemical Evaluation: A Case Study in the Coastal Significant Subterranean Water Body between “Cecina River and San Vincenzo”, Tuscany (Italy)" Applied Sciences 11, no. 16: 7595. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167595

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