Animated 3D Plot of Ammonia Toxics Criteria

January 7, 2016

(This article was first published on AdventuresInData, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

In 2013, EPA published final national recommended water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life from the toxic effects of ammonia in freshwater.

These criteria are a function of water temperature and pH, so that the criteria concentration value changes with changing pH and temperature.  Frequently the criteria values are plotted as a slice with one of the two variables held constant.  But I wanted to see what the total criteria space looked like.  One way to do this is with a 3D plot with the independent temperature and pH variables on the x and y axes (the horizontal plane) and the dependent Ammonia concentration on the z axis (vertical).  Since shape of the surface is difficult to see from any one perspective, animation helps show the overall shape.

This plot was developed in R using plot3D and animation libraries.

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