Assessment of Ensemble Models for Groundwater Potential Modeling and Prediction in a Karst Watershed




Farzin, Mohsen
Avand, Mohammadtaghi
Ahmadzadeh, Hassan
Zelenakova, Martina
Tiefenbacher, John

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Due to numerous droughts in recent years, the amount of surface water in arid and semi-arid regions has decreased significantly, so reliance on groundwater to meet local and regional demands has increased. The Kabgian watershed is a karst watershed in southwestern Iran that provides a significant proportion of drinking and agriculture water supplies in the area. This study identified areas with karst groundwater potential using a combination of machine learning and statistical models, including entropy-SVM-LN, entropy-SVM-SG, and entropy-SVM-RBF. To do this, 384 karst springs were identified and mapped. Sixteen factors that are related to karst potential were identified from a review of the literature, and these were compiled for the study area. The 384 locations were randomly separated into two categories for training (269 location) and validation (115 location) datasets to be used in the modeling process. The ROC curve was used to evaluate the modeling results. The models used, in general, were good at determining the location of karst groundwater potential. The evaluation showed that the E-SVM-RBF model had an area under the curve of 0.92, indicating that it was most accurate estimator of groundwater potential among the ensemble models. Evaluation of the relative importance of each of the 16 factors revealed that land use, a vector ruggedness measure, curvature, and topography roughness index were the most important explainers of the presence of karst groundwater in the study area. It was also found that the factors affecting the presence of karst springs are significantly different from non-karst springs.



Karst groundwater potential, machine learning, statistical models, Kabgian watershed


Farzin, M., Avand, M., Ahmadzadeh, H., Zelenakova, M., Tiefenbacher, J. P. (2021). Assessment of ensemble models for groundwater potential modeling and prediction in a Karst watershed. Water, 13(18), 2540.


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