Using a Sensitivity Analysis and Spatial Clustering to Determine Vulnerability to Potentially Toxic Elements in a Semiarid City in Northwest Mexico

Efrain Vizuete-Jaramillo, Diana Meza-Figueroa, Pablo A. Reyes-Castro, Agustin Robles-Morua*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Getis-Ord Gi* statistic clustering technique was used to create a hot spot exposure map using 14 potentially toxic elements (PTEs) found in urban dust samples in a semiarid city in northwest Mexico. The dust distribution and deposition in this city are influenced by the seasonal wind and rain from the North American Monsoon. The spatial clustering patterns of hot spots were used in combination with a sensitivity analysis to determine which variables most influenced the PTE hot spot exposure base map. The hot spots areas (%) were used as indicators of environmental vulnerability, and a final integrated map was selected to represent the highest vulnerability of PTEs with a 99% level of confidence. The results of the sensitivity analysis indicated that the flood zones and pervious and impervious zones were the most sensitive variables due to their weight in the spatial distribution. The hot spot areas were reduced by 60.4% by not considering these variables. The hot spot analysis resulted in an effective tool that allowed the combination of different spatial layers with specific characteristics to determine areas that present greater vulnerability to the distribution of PTEs, with impacts on public and environmental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10461
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the support of CONACYT for Efrain Vizuete-Jaramillo through a graduate fellowship. The support of the Instituto Municipal de Ecologia (IMEC) and Universidad de Sonora (UNISON) is also appreciated.

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (TSON), Programa de Fomento y Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigacion (PROFAPI), and Laboratorio Nacional de Geoquímica y Mineralogía (LANGEM). This material was also supported by the Urban Resilience to Extreme Events Sustainability Research Network of the National Science Foundation under award number: SES-1444755.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Getis-Ord G*
  • hot spot analysis
  • kriging
  • potentially toxic elements
  • urban dust

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