Multivariate factor assessment for lithogenic and anthropogenic distribution of macro and trace elements in surface water. Case study: Basin of the Bregalnica river, Republic of Macedonia

Trajce Stafilov, Biljana Balabanova, Robert Sajn, Claudiu Tánáselia


This study presents the spatial distribution of 69 elements in the surface water of the Bregalnica river basin. The concentration of elements was determined using inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). The data summary results were reduced with the application of multivariate factor analysis, whereupon three dominant geochemical associations were obtained: F1 (Ca-K-Mg-Na-Ba-Li-Mn-Sr-V), F2 (Al-Fe) and F3 (Sb). Anthropogenic enrichments of Pb and Zn occur in the Pb-Zn mine area. The obtained data exceeded the maximum allowed concentrations in accordance with the national regulation for surface water quality. Trace elements including REEs were significantly correlated with the dominant geological formations characteristic of the different sub-regions in the investigated area.


water, heavy metals, factor analysis, spatial distribution, ICP-AES, ICP-MS, river Bregalnica

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