Assessment of nutrients using multivariate statistical techniques in estuarine systems and its management implications: A case study from Cochin estuary, India.
The status of nutrients in Cochin Estuary in relation with other physico‐chemical variables was assessed using monthly data from seven locations for a period of 3 years. Seasonal comparative assessments were made and the probable sources of nutrients were modelled using principal component analysis (PCA). The results pointed out that the nutrients have higher concentration in premonsoon season compared with other seasons. The correlation coefficients of nutrients pointed out that strong correlation exists indicating that their source of origin could be same. Factor analysis extracted three principal components (PCs) in which the first component attributed to run‐off, the second to influx of marine water and the third to intensive human activities. The proposed statistical model based on PCA gave a reasonable explanation on relation between physico‐chemical parameters and environmental factors which have far reaching implications in the management of water systems.