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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 9 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4771-4792, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Sep 2018

Research article | 13 Sep 2018

Spatial prediction of groundwater spring potential mapping based on an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system and metaheuristic optimization

Khabat Khosravi1, Mahdi Panahi2, and Dieu Tien Bui3 Khabat Khosravi et al.
  • 1Department of Watershed Management Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, Sari Agricultural Science and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran
  • 2Young Researchers and Elites Club, North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • 3GIS group, Department of Business and IT, University of South-Eastern Norway, Gullbringvegen 36, 3800 Bø i Telemark, Norway

Abstract. Groundwater is one of the most valuable natural resources in the world (Jha et al., 2007). However, it is not an unlimited resource; therefore understanding groundwater potential is crucial to ensure its sustainable use. The aim of the current study is to propose and verify new artificial intelligence methods for the spatial prediction of groundwater spring potential mapping at the Koohdasht–Nourabad plain, Lorestan province, Iran. These methods are new hybrids of an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) and five metaheuristic algorithms, namely invasive weed optimization (IWO), differential evolution (DE), firefly algorithm (FA), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and the bees algorithm (BA). A total of 2463 spring locations were identified and collected, and then divided randomly into two subsets: 70% (1725 locations) were used for training models and the remaining 30% (738 spring locations) were utilized for evaluating the models. A total of 13 groundwater conditioning factors were prepared for modeling, namely the slope degree, slope aspect, altitude, plan curvature, stream power index (SPI), topographic wetness index (TWI), terrain roughness index (TRI), distance from fault, distance from river, land use/land cover, rainfall, soil order, and lithology. In the next step, the step-wise assessment ratio analysis (SWARA) method was applied to quantify the degree of relevance of these groundwater conditioning factors. The global performance of these derived models was assessed using the area under the curve (AUC). In addition, the Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were carried out to check and confirm the best model to use in this study. The result showed that all models have a high prediction performance; however, the ANFIS–DE model has the highest prediction capability (AUC = 0.875), followed by the ANFIS–IWO model, the ANFIS–FA model (0.873), the ANFIS–PSO model (0.865), and the ANFIS–BA model (0.839). The results of this research can be useful for decision makers responsible for the sustainable management of groundwater resources.

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