Forest treeManaging data flowing from instruments in a lab or tied to a process can be extremely complex.  The complexity is often exacerbated, when Mother Nature lends a hand.  Chemometrics is a multivariate mathematical and statistical approach to the analysis and interpretation of analytical data.  Pattern recognition methods have been used in chemometrics to reveal and evaluate complex relationships in a wide variety of environmental applications.  These methods have contributed to the systematic understanding of sediment trace metal and organic concentrations arising from natural and anthropogenic sources.  Chemometrics is also useful in evaluating biological response to natural or toxic factors, and can identify the source of the contamination.  Common uses of this technique are to:

  • Identify factors that are combinations of measurable variables;
  • Illustrate groups or cluster associations among samples;
  • Assess spatial distribution of environmental factors or perturbations; and
  • Predict a property of interest (such as biological response to chemical perturbation).