, Volume 185, Issue 5, pp 4049-4061
Date: 05 Sep 2012

Use of multivariate indicator kriging methods for assessing groundwater contamination extents for irrigation

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Abstract

Multivariate geostatistical approaches have been applied extensively in characterizing risks and uncertainty of pollutant concentrations exceeding anthropogenic regulatory limits. Spatially delineating an extent of contamination potential is considerably critical for regional groundwater resources protection and utilization. This study used multivariate indicator kriging (MVIK) to determine spatial patterns of contamination extents in groundwater for irrigation and made a predicted comparison between two types of MVIK, including MVIK of multiplying indicator variables (MVIK-M) and of averaging indicator variables (MVIK-A). A cross-validation procedure was adopted to examine the performance of predicted errors, and various probability thresholds used to calculate ratios of declared pollution area to total area were explored for the two MVIK methods. The assessed results reveal that the northern and central aquifers have excellent groundwater quality for irrigation use. Results obtained through a cross-validation procedure indicate that MVIK-M is more robust than MVIK-A. Furthermore, a low ratio of declared pollution area to total area in MVIK-A may result in an unrealistic and unreliable probability used to determine extents of pollutants. Therefore, this study suggests using MVIK-M to probabilistically determine extents of pollutants in groundwater.