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Use of hierarchical cluster analysis to assess the representativeness of a baseline groundwater quality monitoring network: comparison of New Zealand’s national and regional groundwater monitoring programs

Daughney, Christopher J., Raiber, Matthias, Moreau-Fournier, Magali, Morgenstern, Uwe, & Raaij, Rob (2012) Use of hierarchical cluster analysis to assess the representativeness of a baseline groundwater quality monitoring network: comparison of New Zealand’s national and regional groundwater monitoring programs. Hydrogeology Journal, 20(1), pp. 185-200.

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Abstract

Baseline monitoring of groundwater quality aims to characterize the ambient condition of the resource and identify spatial or temporal trends. Sites comprising any baseline monitoring network must be selected to provide a representative perspective of groundwater quality across the aquifer(s) of interest. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) has been used as a means of assessing the representativeness of a groundwater quality monitoring network, using example datasets from New Zealand. HCA allows New Zealand's national and regional monitoring networks to be compared in terms of the number of water-quality categories identified in each network, the hydrochemistry at the centroids of these water-quality categories, the proportions of monitoring sites assigned to each water-quality category, and the range of concentrations for each analyte within each water-quality category. Through the HCA approach, the National Groundwater Monitoring Programme (117 sites) is shown to provide a highly representative perspective of groundwater quality across New Zealand, relative to the amalgamated regional monitoring networks operated by 15 different regional authorities (680 sites have sufficient data for inclusion in HCA). This methodology can be applied to evaluate the representativeness of any subset of monitoring sites taken from a larger network.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 51438
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Groundwater Monitoring, Groundwater Statistics, Hydrochemistry, New Zealand
DOI: 10.1007/s10040-011-0786-2
ISSN: 1435-0157
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 05 Jul 2012 08:50
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2012 08:50

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