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Ground water quality classification by decision tree method in Ardebil region, Iran

Abstract

A decision tree-based approach is proposed to predict ground water quality based on the United States Salinity Laboratory (USSL) diagram using the data from aquifers in agricultural lands of Ardebil province, northwest of Iran. Several combinations of hydro chemical parameters of groundwater and monthly precipitation with different lag time were considered to find an accurate and economical alternative for groundwater quality classification. The performance evaluation was based on the number of correctly classified instances (CCI) and kappa statistics. The results suggested the suitability of decision tree-based classification approach for the used data sets. The overall average of CCI and kappa statistic for the prediction of groundwater quality classes based on the USSL diagram was 0.88 and 0.83 %, respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) was also used to determine the important parameters for groundwater quality classification. The results showed that groundwater quality classification by decision tree is more precise and efficient in comparison with PCA. The best alternative could evaluate groundwater quality class with only two parameters: electrical conductivity and cumulative precipitation of 11 months earlier. The developed model is able to predict water quality class by only two variables and this lead to a reduction in the number of variables analyzed on a routine basis, resulting in a significant reduction in laboratory costs and latency times between the sampling moment and the outcome of the laboratory analyses.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran.

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Correspondence to S. Mehdi Saghebian.

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Saghebian, S.M., Sattari, M.T., Mirabbasi, R. et al. Ground water quality classification by decision tree method in Ardebil region, Iran. Arab J Geosci 7, 4767–4777 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-013-1042-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-013-1042-y

Keywords

  • Groundwater quality
  • USSL diagram
  • Decision tree
  • PCA
  • Iran