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Multivariate Analysis of Canadian Water Quality Data

The Ottawa L-SETAC Pub Night hosted its second speaker of the season, Geneviève Tardif, on October 28, 2015 at Clock Tower Pub on Bank Street. Geneviève, who currently works in Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Surveillance, Environment and Climate Change Canada, presented her Master’s research on applying multivariate analysis to Canadian water quality data. Her research at University of Ottawa’s Geography department involved creating a single database of water quality data from federal and provincial sources including over 100 sites and several common parameters (e.g., pH, specific conductance, temperature etc). For her principal component analysis, she divided the data into two overlapping matrices in order to assess the most influential parameters of water quality; each matrix was analyzed separately. In both cases, specific conductance was found to be most represented of water quality at the national scale. By overlaying cluster analysis, she was able to identify major water characteristics. Lastly, redundancy analysis using landscape characteristics for each site found that the proportion of cropland and annual total precipitation were important to explaining the variance in water quality data. Many L-SETAC members, academia, government and students, braved the torrential rain storm to attend the event. –Submitted by Susan Roe Don't miss the last Ottawa Pub Night of 2015, on Wednesday November 25th!

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