Multivariate Statistical Analysis Applied to Water Quality of a Tropical Coastal Lagoon, Cartagena, Colombian Caribbean

Ildefonso Baldiris-Navarro(1), Juan Carlos Acosta-Jimenez(2), Angel Dario Gonzalez-Delgado(3*), Alvaro Realpe-Jimenez(4), Juan Gabriel Fajardo-Cuadro(5)

(1) SENA CINAFLUP– Cartagena, Cr. A Mamonal #15, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
(2) Fundacion Universitaria Tecnológico Comfenalco, Cra. 44 #30a-91, 130015, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
(3) University of Cartagena, Avenida del Consulado, Cll. 30 # 48-152, 130015, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
(4) University of Cartagena, Avenida del Consulado, Cll. 30 # 48-152, 130015, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
(5) Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar, Cra.21 #25-92 Manga, 130001, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
(*) Corresponding Author


Coastal lagoons are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, because of population growth, habitat destruction, pollution, wastewater, overexploitation and invasive species which are the main causes of their degradation. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the water quality behavior in a stressed coastal lagoon in Cartagena, Colombian Caribbean. Environmental data was analyzed using hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and also Principal components analysis (PCA). The study was focused on water parameters such as dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), salinity, pH, total dissolved solids, total coliforms (TC), Fecal coliforms (FC), ammonium (NH4+) and total phosphorus (TP). The analysis was conducted in line with the Colombian national water standard. Results showed that BOD5, COD, phosphorus, and coliforms are out of the limits for these variables in Colombia and are reaching levels that may be a threat to human health. Principal components analysis detected five components that explained 79.4% of the variance of data and showed that anthropogenic and temporal factors might be affecting the variation of the parameters.


coastal lagoon; water quality; statistics; multivariable analysis; Colombia

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