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Analysis of nearshore water quality data in the Canadian Great Lakes, 1967-1973, Part I

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Title: Analysis of nearshore water quality data in the Canadian Great Lakes, 1967-1973, Part I
Author: Gregor, D. J.; Ongley, E. D.
Abstract: An evaluation and analysis of nearshore water quality data has been undertaken. These data have been collected along the Canadian shoreline of the Great Lakes between 1967 and 1973 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (O.M.E.). The nearshore study fits within the framework of a much larger ongoing program at Queen's University for the purpose of storage, management and analysis of hydrometric, water quality and physical data undertaken for the International Joint Commission's (I.J.C.) Pollution from Land Use Activities Reference Group (PLUARG). The recognition, by both Canada and the United States, of the continued deterioration of Great Lakes water quality and the heavy and increasing use of the nearshore waters, often for incompatible purposes (for example - recreation and waste disposal) makes a thorough study of existing nearshore water quality data necessary. The single most difficult problem in dealing with this data set is its high degree of spatial and temporal variability; therefore, considerable time and effort was expended in obtaining an appreciation of its complexities. This is achieved with detailed summaries of station and parameter sampling frequencies. Parameters which meet specific sampling frequency criteria are identified as being suitable for statistical analysis. However, only eight parameters, generally applicable to a description of the health of the nearshore zone, are considered in this report. The complex and transitory nature of the limnologic processes affecting nearshore water quality, coupled with the inherent temporal-spatial variability of the data set, suggest the need for data aggregation (illustrated below). The intent of data aggregation and the underlying assumption of the statistical summary of near- shore water quality data is that aggregation homogenizes the effects of process variables as well as providing data subsets containing relatively large data populations which, in turn, enhance statistical confidence. The data aggregation also makes allowances for the evolutionary nature of the data file. This aggregation procedure is adopted for each nearshore geographic region, chosen a priori, and derived from consideration of sampling station configurations, proximity to point and tributary sources of pollutants and additional, relevant information where available. The data for each geographic region for each season and depth are summarized using parametric statistics. Analysis of variance is employed to test for significant seasonal and depth differences. Spatial water quality patterns are illustrated and temporal trends are evaluated. The results are discussed, interpreted and compared to previous studies in an attempt to provide a summary of water quality in the Canadian nearshore zone of the Great Lakes for the period 1967 to 1973.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14466
Date: 1978
Rights: Unless a copyright is indicated, information is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed without permission. Citation of the IJC or the appropriate IJC Board as source of the information is appreciated.If a copyright is indicated on a video, photo, graphic, or other material, permission to copy these materials must be obtained from the original source.
Rights Holder: International Joint Commission
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