The present paper deals with the application of classical and fuzzy principal components analysis to a large data set from coastal sediment analysis. Altogether 126 sampling sites from the Atlantic Coast of the USA are considered and at each site 16 chemical parameters are measured. It is found that four latent factors are responsible for the data structure (“natural”, “anthropogenic”, “bioorganic”, and “organic anthropogenic”). Additionally, estimating the scatter plots for factor scores revealed the similarity between the sampling sites. Geographical and urban factors are found to contribute to the sediment chemical composition. It is shown that the use of fuzzy PCA helps for better data interpretation especially in case of outliers.
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