R scripting libraries for comparative analysis of the correlation methods to identify factors affecting Mariana Trench formation

11/18/2018
by   Polina Lemenkova, et al.
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Mariana trench is the deepest place on the Earth. It crosses four tectonic plates of the Pacific Ocean: Mariana, Caroline, Pacific and Philippine. The formation of the trench is caused by the complex interconnection of various environmental factors. The aim of this study was to describe and characterize various impact factors affecting formation of the Mariana trench geomorphology and continental margin environments using R programming language and mathematical algorithms of correlation methods written on R code. To record the system of geological, tectonic, geographic, oceanological and bathymetric features affecting Mariana trench , a combination of statistical methods, GIS and R programming codes were applied. The questions answered are as follows: which factors are the most influencing for the Mariana trench morphology, and to what extend do they affect its development? Is sedimental thickness of the ocean trench basement more important factors for the trench formation comparing to the steepness slope angle and aspect degree? Three methods of computing were tested: Pearson correlation, Spearman correlation, Kendall correlation, numerical correlogram, correlation matrix and cross-correlatios to analyze environmental impact factors. The correlogram matrices are computed and visualized by R scripting libraries. Complex usage of programming tools, mathematical statistics and geospatial analysis enabled to get a differentiated understandings of the hadal environments of the Mariana trench. The results revealed following three types of factors having the highest score: geometric (tg slope angle), geologic (sedimental thickness) and tectonic structure. The results furthermore indicated that tectonic plates, sedimental thickness of the trench basement and igneous volcanic areas causing earthquakes play the most essential role in the geomorphology of the trench.

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