Multivariate Statistical Evaluation of Groundwater Recharge Potential in Arid Region, Southern Tunisia
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The purpose of this work is to evaluate the groundwater recharge using multivariate statistical evaluation and AHP (analytic hierarchy process) as an additional method to the hydrogeological research. This technique was utilized to establish a map that represents the groundwater recharge potentiality. The map extraction is founded on the investigation of multi-criteria input data such as lineaments, land use, lithology, drainage, slope, soil, rainfall and geomorphology. Weights were assigned using the AHP method to all these multi-influencing factors according to their influence on groundwater recharge. Sensitivity analyses were calculated to validate AHP weight results. The presented methodology has been applied to Belkhir region in southwestern Tunisia, which has an arid climate. Agriculture is the main activity in the plains and the use of groundwater has been raised for both irrigation and drinking purposes. This technique revealed the very good, good, moderate, and poor groundwater recharge potential zones. Furthermore, the impact of each influencing factor on groundwater ability was calculated. The results provide significant information that can be useful to ameliorate groundwater development. The approach may also help improve plans for sustainable groundwater resources exploitation.
KeywordsMultivariate evaluation Statistical assessment Groundwater recharge Arid region Tunisia
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