USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Optimization of DRASTIC method by supervised committee machine artificial intelligence for groundwater vulnerability assessment in Maragheh-Bonab plain aquifer, Iran.

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Barnali Dixon

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Contamination of wells with nitrate-N (NO3-N) poses various threats to human health. Contamination of groundwater is a complex process and full of uncertainty in regional scale. Development of an integrative vulnerability assessment methodology can be useful to effectively manage (including prioritization of limited resource allocation to monitor high risk areas) and protect this valuable freshwater source. This study introduces a supervised committee machine with artificial intelligence (SCMAI) model to improve the DRASTIC method for groundwater vulnerability assessment for the Maragheh–Bonab plain aquifer in Iran. Four different AI models are considered in the SCMAI model, whose input is the DRASTIC parameters. The SCMAI model improves the committee machine artificial intelligence (CMAI) model by replacing the linear combination in the CMAI with a nonlinear supervised ANN framework. To calibrate the AI models, NO3-N concentration data are divided in two datasets for the training and validation purposes. The target value of the AI models in the training step is the corrected vulnerability indices that relate to the first NO3-N concentration dataset. After model training, the AI models are verified by the second NO3-N concentration dataset. The results show that the four AI models are able to improve the DRASTIC method. Since the best AI model performance is not dominant, the SCMAI model is considered to combine the advantages of individual AI models to achieve the optimal performance. The SCMAI method re-predicts the groundwater vulnerability based on the different AI model prediction values. The results show that the SCMAI outperforms individual AI models and committee machine with artificial intelligence (CMAI) model. The SCMAI model ensures that no water well with high NO3-N levels would be classified as low risk and vice versa. The study concludes that the SCMAI model is an effective model to improve the DRASTIC model and provides a confident estimate of the pollution risk.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Journal of Hydrology, 503, 89-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.08.038 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.





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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.