I'm interested in making a map of a section of river by measuring the pH at many points along the bank, for maybe a quarter mile. If I made a map - maybe something like the upper left map in the lead image -- would I be able to use it to find any sources of pollution?
Or alternatively, what kinds of pollutants could cause a measurable pH pattern on a map - say, if we saw a big change in pH downstream of a particular place, what kinds of pollution might cause this, if any?
I ask because I can find maps of pH and I know pH is often used as a water quality metric, but I'm looking for examples of a very visual way to analyze or present that kind of information -- like on a series of maps over time. I believe it's not uncommon for pH to vary between 6-9, as described on this page:
pH can go up from high algae content, I believe. So maybe fertilizer runoff and an algae plume might cause this? But I'm not sure -- i'd love to learn more. Thanks!
Here's a paper I found showing pH variation but I don't think it's specifically looking for pollution effects: