Delineation of estuarine management areas using multivariate geostatistics the case of Sado Estuary

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The Sado Estuary is a coastal zone located in the south of Portugal where conflicts between conservation and development exist because of its location near industrialized urban zones and its designation as a natural reserve. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a set of multivariate geostatistical approaches to delineate spatially contiguous regions of sediment structure for Sado Estuary. These areas will be the supporting infrastructure of an environmental management system for this estuary. The boundaries of each homogeneous area were derived from three sediment characterization attributes through three different approaches: (1) cluster analysis of dissimilarity matrix function of geographical separation followed by indicator kriging of the cluster data, (2) discriminant analysis of kriged values of the three sediment attributes, and (3) a combination of methods 1 and 2. Final maximum likelihood classification was integrated into a geographical information system. All methods generated fairly spatially contiguous management areas that reproduce well the environment of the estuary. Map comparison techniques based on κ statistics showed that the resultant three maps are similar, supporting the choice of any of the methods as appropriate for management of the Sado Estuary. However, the results of method 1 seem to be in better agreement with estuary behavior, assessment of contamination sources, and previous work conducted at this site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4052-4059
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2003


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