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Estuarial Fingerprinting through Multidimensional Fluorescence and Multivariate Analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-10-01, 00:00 authored by Gregory J. Hall, Kerin E. Clow, Jonathan E. Kenny
As part of a strategy for preventing the introduction of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) to U.S. estuaries, ballast water exchange (BWE) regulations have been imposed. Enforcing these regulations requires a reliable method for determining the port of origin of water in the ballast tanks of ships entering U.S. waters. This study shows that a three-dimensional fluorescence fingerprinting technique, excitation emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy, holds great promise as a ballast water analysis tool. In our technique, EEMs are analyzed by multivariate classification and curve resolution methods, such as N-way partial least squares Regression-discriminant analysis (NPLS-DA) and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). We demonstrate that classification techniques can be used to discriminate among sampling sites less than 10 miles apart, encompassing Boston Harbor and two tributaries in the Mystic River Watershed. To our knowledge, this work is the first to use multivariate analysis to classify water as to location of origin. Furthermore, it is shown that curve resolution can show seasonal features within the multidimensional fluorescence data sets, which correlate with difficulty in classification.