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Prediction of Ground Water Levels in the Uplands of a Tropical Coastal Riparian Wetland using Artificial Neural Networks


Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) have been found to be a robust tool to model many non-linear hydrological processes. The present study aims at evaluating the performance of ANN in simulating and predicting ground water levels in the uplands of a tropical coastal riparian wetland. The study involves comparison of two network architectures, Feed Forward Neural Network (FFNN) and Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) trained under five algorithms namely Levenberg Marquardt algorithm, Resilient Back propagation algorithm, BFGS Quasi Newton algorithm, Scaled Conjugate Gradient algorithm, and Fletcher Reeves Conjugate Gradient algorithm by simulating the water levels in a well in the study area. The study is analyzed in two cases-one with four inputs to the networks and two with eight inputs to the networks. The two networks-five algorithms in both the cases are compared to determine the best performing combination that could simulate and predict the process satisfactorily. Ad Hoc (Trial and Error) method is followed in optimizing network structure in all cases. On the whole, it is noticed from the results that the Artificial Neural Networks have simulated and predicted the water levels in the well with fair accuracy. This is evident from low values of Normalized Root Mean Square Error and Relative Root Mean Square Error and high values of Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency Index and Correlation Coefficient (which are taken as the performance measures to calibrate the networks) calculated after the analysis. On comparison of ground water levels predicted with those at the observation well, FFNN trained with Fletcher Reeves Conjugate Gradient algorithm taken four inputs has outperformed all other combinations.

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Correspondence to D. Nagesh Kumar.

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Karthikeyan, L., Kumar, D.N., Graillot, D. et al. Prediction of Ground Water Levels in the Uplands of a Tropical Coastal Riparian Wetland using Artificial Neural Networks. Water Resour Manage 27, 871–883 (2013).

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  • Ground water levels
  • Rainfall
  • Stream flow
  • Artificial Neural Networks
  • Prediction, Algorithms