Open Access from Environmetrics: Pesticide concentration monitoring: Investigating spatio-temporal patterns in left censored data

Every week, we select a recently published Open Access article to feature. This week’s article is from Environmetrics and looks into the monitoring pesticide concentration process. 

The article’s abstract is given below, with the full article available to read here. 

Laroche, C.Olteanu, M., & Rossi, F. (2022). Pesticide concentration monitoring: Investigating spatio-temporal patterns in left censored dataEnvironmetrics, e2756.

Monitoring pesticide concentration is very important for public authorities given the major concerns for environmental safety and the likelihood for increased public health risks. An important aspect of this process consists in locating abnormal signals, from a large amount of collected data. This kind of data is usually complex since it suffers from limits of quantification leading to left censored observations, and from the sampling procedure which is irregular in time and space across measuring stations. The present manuscript tackles precisely the issue of detecting spatio-temporal collective anomalies in pesticide concentration levels, and introduces a novel methodology for dealing with spatio-temporal heterogeneity. The latter combines a change-point detection procedure applied to the series of maximum daily values across all stations, and a clustering step aimed at a spatial segmentation of the stations. Limits of quantification are handled in the change-point procedure, by supposing an underlying left-censored parametric model, piece-wise stationary. Spatial segmentation takes into account the geographical conditions, and may be based on river network, wind directions and so forth. Conditionally to the temporal segment and the spatial cluster, one may eventually analyze the data and identify contextual anomalies. The proposed procedure is illustrated in detail on a data set containing the prosulfocarb concentration levels in surface waters in Centre-Val de Loire region.

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