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A GIS-based DRASTIC Model for Assessing Aquifer Vulnerability in Kherran Plain, Khuzestan, Iran


The Kherran plain is located in the northeast of Ahwaz in Khuzestan Province, Iran. The state of groundwater pollution is a critical issue with increasing population and agricultural development in Iran. For this reason, vulnerability assessment is an important factor in any policy making decision in any part of country. Focusing on this issue, the article attempts to presents a groundwater vulnerability map for the Kherran plain. The map designed to show areas of highest potential for groundwater pollution based on hydro-geological condition and human impacts. Seven major hydro-geological factors (Depth to water table, net Recharge, Aquifer media, Soil media, Topography, Impact of vadose zone and hydraulic Conductivity) were incorporated into DRASTIC model and geographical information system (GIS) was used to create a groundwater vulnerability map by overlaying the available hydro-geological data. The output map shows that the west and southwest of the aquifer are under medium vulnerability while small areas on northwest and east of the study area have no risk to pollution. Other parts of aquifer have low vulnerability. For testing of the vulnerability assessment, 27 groundwater samples were collected from the different vulnerability zones of the study area. The chemical analysis results show that the southwest and west parts of aquifer (moderate vulnerability zones) have higher nitrate concentration relative to the rest of aquifer, that are located in low vulnerability zone.

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Correspondence to M. Chitsazan.

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Chitsazan, M., Akhtari, Y. A GIS-based DRASTIC Model for Assessing Aquifer Vulnerability in Kherran Plain, Khuzestan, Iran. Water Resour Manage 23, 1137–1155 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-008-9319-8

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  • Aquifer vulnerability
  • DRASTIC model
  • Geographical information system
  • Kherran plain