Novel Ensemble of MCDM-Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Groundwater-Potential Mapping in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions (Iran)




Arabameri, Alireza
Lee, Saro
Tiefenbacher, John
Ngo, Phuong-Thao Thi

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


The aim of this research is to introduce a novel ensemble approach using Vise Kriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR), frequency ratio (FR), and random forest (RF) models for groundwater-potential mapping (GWPM) in Bastam watershed, Iran. This region suffers from freshwater shortages and the identification of new groundwater sites is a critical need. Remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) were used to reduce time and financial costs of rapid assessment of groundwater resources. Seventeen physiographical, hydrological, and geological groundwater conditioning factors (GWCFs) were derived from a spatial geo-database. Groundwater data were gathered in field surveys and well-yield data were acquired from the Iranian Department of Water Resources Management for 89 locations with high yield potential values ≥ 11 m3 h-1. These data were mapped in a GIS. From these locations, 62 (70%) were randomly selected to be used for model training, and the remaining 27 (30%) were used for validation of the model. The relative weights of the GWCFs were determined with an RF model. For GWPM, 220 randomly selected points in the study area and their final weights were determined with the VIKOR model. A groundwater potential map was created by interpolating the values at these points using Kriging in GIS. Finally, the area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve was plotted for the groundwater potential map. The success rate curve (SRC) was computed for the training dataset, and the prediction rate curve (PRC) was calculated for the validation dataset. Results of RF analysis show that land use and land cover, lithology, and elevation are the most significant determinants of groundwater occurrence. The validation results show that the ensemble model had excellent prediction performance (PRC = 0.934) and goodness-of-fit (SRC = 0.925) and reasonably high classification accuracy. The results of this study could aid management of groundwater resources and assist planners and decision makers in groundwater-investment planning to achieve sustainability.



modeling, random forest, frequency ration, VIKOR model, Bastam watershed


Arabameri, A., Lee, S., Tiefenbacher, J. P., & Ngo, P. T. T. (2020). Novel ensemble of MCDM-artificial intelligence techniques for groundwater-potential mapping in arid and semi-arid regions (Iran). Remote Sensing, 12(3), 490.


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