Statistical approach to interpretation of geochemical data of stream sediment in Pleše mining area
The Ba, Pb and Zn ore deposit Pleše near Ljubljana is one of the formerly productive mines. The stream sediments were sampled and analysed by XRF to establish the effect of grain size, mineralization, and downstream location of sampling sites on geochemical composition based on various statistical analyses. Statistical analyses of the geochemical data confirm the impact of mineralization. The parametric t-test, non-parametric Mann-Whitney test and cluster analysis showed only minor differences in the geochemical composition of the samples with different grain sizes (< 0.063 mm and 0.063-2 mm). The parametric and non-parametric correlation coefficients as well as cluster analysis indicate that the contents of Si, Al, K, Rb, and Fe are associated with weathered rock forming minerals such as micas, and clay minerals, whereas Nb and Zr are associated with minerals resistant to weathering. Ca and Mg are associated with carbonates. S, Ba, Sr, Pb, Zn, and Mn indicate local mineralization with sulphates and sulphides. The results of the t-test and analysis of variance, Mann-Whitney tests and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA of the groups established by the cluster analysis confirm that the contents of Ba, Pb and Sr have a statistically significant influence on the classification of the cluster group - i.e., the influence of sediment mineralization. There are no differences in elemental contents in the sediment samples downstream. The statistical approach to evaluate the geochemical data has proven useful and provides a good basis for further interpretation.