Fuzzy-based assessment of groundwater intrinsic vulnerability of a volcanic aquifer in the Chilean Andean Valley

  • Denisse J. Duhalde
  • José L. Arumí
  • Ricardo A. Oyarzún
  • Diego A. Rivera


A fuzzy logic approach has been proposed to face the uncertainty caused by sparse data in the assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability of a groundwater system with parametric methods in Las Trancas Valley, Andean Mountain, south-central Chile, a popular touristic place in Chile, but lacking of a centralized drinking and sewage water public systems; this situation is a potentially source of groundwater pollution. Based on DRASTIC, GOD, and EKv and the expert knowledge of the study area, the Mamdani fuzzy approach was generated and the spatial data were processed by ArcGIS. The groundwater system exhibited areas with high, medium, and low intrinsic vulnerability indices. The fuzzy approach results were compared with traditional methods results, which, in general, have shown a good spatial agreement even though significant changes were also identified in the spatial distribution of the indices. The Mamdani logic approach has shown to be a useful and practical tool to assess the intrinsic vulnerability of an aquifer under sparse data conditions.


Aquifer vulnerability Data scarcity Fuzzy logic 


Funding information

The authors express their gratitude to Conicyt for the funding provided through the Conicyt/Fondap/15130015 and Fondecyt 1150587 grants.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento Ingeniería de MinasUniversidad de La SerenaLa SerenaChile
  2. 2.Universidad de ConcepciónChillánChile
  3. 3.CEAZALa SerenaChile

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