Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




This dissertation introduces spatial strata modelling, a methodology that combines spatial statistics, cluster analysis, and geographic information system theories to analyze the background level of naturally occurring contaminants of concern (COCs). The objective of spatial strata modelling is to divide a geographic area of interest into mutually exclusive geographic zones (spatial strata): with each stratum representing a different level of COC concentration. An estimate of each stratum's COC concentration level, representing an upper regulatory limit, will also be provided. Data provided by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality describing the spatial location and arsenic concentrations of 211 Michigan sites (arsenic data) is analyzed using the spatial strata modelling method introduced here. In addition, various infill sampling strategies will be investigated using the arsenic data as an example. An optimal infill sampling algorithm is recommended in order to improve the accuracy of the spatial strata modelling method.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access