Dakota Home Report Archive Report Start

Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Rept. 93-1B
Statistical Methods for Delineating Water Quality--Page 5 of 5


Discriminant analysis, nonparametric rank tests, and factor analysis were used to evaluate water-chemistry data to determine which statistical tests would be most useful for general evaluation of the data for trends. These tests were evaluated in comparison with the Piper diagram method which is commonly used for classifying water-chemistry data. The combination of these tests provided adequate information for delineating areas of future study and provide a means for non-chemists to do a preliminary evaluation of water chemistry data.

The discriminant analysis results indicate that the test is useful for a general classification of water types and for indication of areas in the state that should be evaluated further to explain their unusual water chemistry. The nonparametric rank-order tests show that there is a significant although low correlation between chloride content and depth throughout parts of the Dakota Formation. The low correlation indicates that other variables are more important in controlling chloride than just depth. Other variables that might be considered are: relatives rules of recharge from above and below the Dakota formation; flow/flushing of saline water in the system; and relative permeability and continuity of the sandstone bodies.

Factor analysis is useful for giving additional statistical support to the other two tests. Use of factor analysis for future evaluation of the water-chemistry data in conjunction with other hydrogeologic parameters will provide additional support for the hydrogeologic explanation of the patterns observed in the water chemistry data throughout Kansas.


Davis, J. C., 1986, Statistics and data analysis in geology: John Wiley and Sons, New York, 646 p.

Harbaugh, J. W., and Demirmen, F., 1964, Application of factor analysis to petrologic variations of Americus Limestone (Lower Permian), Kansas and Oklahoma: Kansas Geological Survey, Special Distribution Publication 15, 40 p.

Lobmeyer, D. H., and Weakly, E. C., 1979, Water in the Dakota Formation, Hodgeman and northern Ford counties, southwestern Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey, Irrigation Series 5, 41 p. [available online]

Macfarlane, P. A., Townsend, M. A., Whittemore, D. O., Doveton, J., and Staton, M., 1988, Hydrogeology and water chemistry of the Great Plains (Dakota, Kiowa, and Cheyenne) and Cedar Hills aquifers in central Kansas--end of contract report: Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 88-39, 193 p. [available online]

Macfarlane, P. A., Whittemore, D. O., Townsend, M. A., Doveton, J. H., Hamilton, V. J., Coyle, W. G. III, and Wade, A., 1989, The Dakota aquifer program--annual report, FY89: KGS Open-file Report 90-27, 302 p. [available online]

Piper, A. M., 1944, A graphic procedure in the geochemical interpretation of water analyses: American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 25, p. 914-923

Riley, J. A., Steinhorst, R. K., Winter, G. V., and Willimas, R. E., 1990, Statistical analysis of the hydrochemistry of ground waters in Columbia River basalts: Journal of Hydrology, v. 119,p.245-262

Sharps, J. A., 1969, Lateral migrations of the Arkansas River during the Quaternary--Fowler, Colorado, to the Colorado-Kansas state line: U.S. Geological Survey, Professional Paper 650-C, p. C66-C70 [available online]

SPSS, Inc., 1990, Statistical package for the social sciences, v. 4.0 for PC.

Townsend, M. A., Macfarlane, P. A., and Whittemore, D. O., 1989, Geochemical and geologic indicators of vertical mixing between Permian and Cretaceous units in central Kansas: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, no. 7, p. 171

Williams, R. E., 1982, Statistical identification of hydraulic connections between the surface of a mountain and internal mineralized sources: Ground Water, v. 20, no. 4, p. 466-478

Previous page--Discussion
Start of this report || Table of Contents

Kansas Geological Survey, Dakota Aquifer Program
Original report available from the Kansas Geological Survey.
Electronic version placed online Nov. 1998
Scientific comments to P. Allen Macfarlane
Web comments to webadmin@kgs.ku.edu