Water Resources Management

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 281–302 | Cite as

Mapping Groundwater Potential Using a Novel Hybrid Intelligence Approach

  • Shaghayegh Miraki
  • Sasan Hedayati Zanganeh
  • Kamran ChapiEmail author
  • Vijay P. Singh
  • Ataollah Shirzadi
  • Himan Shahabi
  • Binh Thai Pham


Identifying areas with high groundwater potential is important for groundwater resources management. The main objective of this study is to propose a novel classifier ensemble method, namely Random Forest Classifier based on Random Subspace Ensemble (RS-RF), for groundwater potential mapping (GWPM) in Qorveh-Dehgolan plain, Kurdistan province, Iran. A total of 12 conditioning factors (slope, aspect, elevation, curvature, stream power index (SPI), topographic wetness index (TWI), rainfall, lithology, land use, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), fault density, and river density) were selected for groundwater modeling. The least square support vector machine (LSSVM) feature selection method with a 10-fold cross-validation technique was used to validate the predictive capability of these conditioning factors for training the models. The performance of the RS-RF model was validated using the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), success and prediction rate curves, kappa index, and several statistical index-based measures. In addition, Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to assess statistically significant level among the new model with the state-of-the-art soft computing benchmark models, such as random forest (RF), logistic regression (LR) and naïve Bayes (NB). Results showed that the new hybrid model of RS-RF had a very high predictive capability for groundwater potential mapping and exhibited the best performance among other benchmark models (LR, RF, and NB). Results of the present study might be useful to water managers to make proper decisions on the optimal use of groundwater resources for future planning in the critical study area.


Mapping groundwater potential Least square support vector machine Random forest random subspace ensemble Logistic regression Kurdistan 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Watershed Sciences Engineering, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources of SariSariIran
  2. 2.Department of GIS and RS, Faculty of GeographyUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  3. 3.Department of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of KurdistanSanandajIran
  4. 4.Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and Zachry Department of Civil EngineeringTexas A & M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  5. 5.Department of Geomorphology, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of KurdistanSanandajIran
  6. 6.Department of Geotechnical EngineeringUniversity of Transport TechnologyHanoiVietnam

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