Earth Science Informatics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 171–186 | Cite as

Groundwater qanat potential mapping using frequency ratio and Shannon’s entropy models in the Moghan watershed, Iran

  • Seyed Amir Naghibi
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
  • Zohre Sadat Pourtaghi
  • Ashkan Rezaei
Research Article


The purpose of current study is to produce groundwater qanat potential map using frequency ratio (FR) and Shannon's entropy (SE) models in the Moghan watershed, Khorasan Razavi Province, Iran. The qanat is basically a horizontal, interconnected series of underground tunnels that accumulate and deliver groundwater from a mountainous source district, along a water- bearing formation (aquifer), and to a settlement. A qanat locations map was prepared for study area in 2013 based on a topographical map at a 1:50,000-scale and extensive field surveys. 53 qanat locations were detected in the field surveys. 70 % (38 locations) of the qanat locations were used for groundwater potential mapping and 30 % (15 locations) were used for validation. Fourteen effective factors were considered in this investigation such as slope degree, slope aspect, altitude, topographic wetness index (TWI), stream power index (SPI), slope length (LS), plan curvature, profile curvature, distance to rivers, distance to faults, lithology, land use, drainage density, and fault density. Using the above conditioning factors, groundwater qanat potential map was generated implementing FR and SE models, and the results were plotted in ArcGIS. The predictive capability of frequency ratio and Shannon's entropy models were determined by the area under the relative operating characteristic curve. The area under the curve (AUC) for frequency ratio model was calculated as 0.8848. Also AUC for Shannon's entropy model was 0.9121, which depicts the excellence of this model in qanat occurrence potential estimation in the study area. So the Shannon's entropy model has higher AUC than the frequency ratio model. The produced groundwater qanat potential maps can assist planners and engineers in groundwater development plans and land use planning.


Qanat potential mapping Frequency ratio Shannon’s entropy GIS Iran 



The authors would like to thank of Dr. Hassan Ali Babaie “Editor-in-Chief” and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the previous version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyed Amir Naghibi
    • 1
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
    • 2
  • Zohre Sadat Pourtaghi
    • 3
  • Ashkan Rezaei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Watershed Management Engineering, College of Natural Resources and Marine SciencesTarbiat Modares University (TMU)MazandaranIran
  2. 2.Young Researchers and Elite Club, Nour BranchIslamic Azad UniversityNourIran
  3. 3.Department of Environment Management Engineering, College of Natural ResourcesYazd UniversityYazdIran

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