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Using combined AHP–genetic algorithm in artificial groundwater recharge site selection of Gareh Bygone Plain, Iran

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Flood spreading is one of the suitable strategies to control and benefit from floods which in turn improve the groundwater recharge, makes soil more fertile, and increases nutrients in soil. It is also a method for reusing sediment, which is usually wasted. Thus, selection of suitable areas for flood spreading and directing the flood water into permeable formations are amongst the most effective strategies in flood spreading projects. Having combined analytic hierarchy process (AHP) of multi-criteria decision analysis and genetic algorithm (GA) of artificial intelligence approaches, this paper addresses the problem of finding the most suitable area location for flood spreading operation in the Gareh Bygone Plain of Iran. To this end, the nine effective geodata layers including slope, alluvium thickness, geology, morphology, electrical conductivity, land use, drainage density, aquifer transmissivity, and elevation were prepared in geographic information system environment. This stage was followed by elimination of the exclusionary areas for flood spreading while determining the potentially suitable ones. Having closely examined the potentially suitable areas using the proposed methodology, the land suitability map for flood spreading was produced. The AHP and GA were used for ranking all the alternatives and weighting the criteria involved, respectively. The results of the study showed that most suitable areas for the artificial groundwater recharge are located in Quaternary Qft 2 and Qsf geologic units and in morphological units of pediment and Alluvial fans with slopes not exceeding 2 %. Finally, further evidence for the acceptable efficiency of the integrated AHP–GA method in locating most suitable flood spreading areas have been provided by such significant spatial coincidence between the produced map and the control areas located near Kowsar research station, where the earlier flood spreading projects were successfully performed.

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Correspondence to Rahim Ali Abbaspour.

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Rahimi, S., Shadman Roodposhti, M. & Ali Abbaspour, R. Using combined AHP–genetic algorithm in artificial groundwater recharge site selection of Gareh Bygone Plain, Iran. Environ Earth Sci 72, 1979–1992 (2014).

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