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methods for the assessment of aquifer

vulnerability to nitrates, based on the drastic

model, an example from NE Korinthia, Greece

Impact Factor: 3.05 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.08.014

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2 authors, including:

Andreas Antonakos

General Secretariat for Civil Protection

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Journal of Hydrology (2007) 333, 288 304

available at www.sciencedirect.com

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Development and testing of three hybrid methods

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for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability

to nitrates, based on the drastic model, an

example from NE Korinthia, Greece

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A.K. Antonakos *, N.J. Lambrakis on

University of Patras, Geology Department, 26500 Rio, Greece

Received 22 February 2006; received in revised form 30 August 2006; accepted 31 August 2006

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KEYWORDS Summary The assessment of groundwater vulnerability to pollution has proved to be an effec-

Aquifer vulnerability; tive tool for the delineation of protection zones in areas affected by groundwater contamina-

Drastic; tion due to the intensive fertilizer applications. The main objective of this study has been to

Korinthia; develop and check the results of three hybrid methods for specific aquifer vulnerability assess-

Greece; ment based upon the parameters, classification and rating principles of the well known DRASTIC

Logistic regression; model. The first method, proposed by [Panagopoulos, G., Antonakos, A., Lambrakis, N., 2006.

Weights of evidence Optimization of DRASTIC model for groundwater vulnerability assessment, by the use of simple

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statistical methods and GIS. Hydrogeology Journal (published online).], has proved to be an

effective way to modify the DRASTIC model in order to achieve better correlation with actual

nitrates occurrence. Descriptive statistics and simple statistical tests on a hydrochemical data-

set are used by the method in order to change the initial factor ratings and factor weights par-

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ticipating in the vulnerability assessment equation. The other two methods were developed by

the use of logistic regression and weights of evidence statistical procedures and the use of the

same hydrochemical dataset, and attain relatively high correlation factors when referring to

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sample points while correlation was significantly lower for the entire distributions of vulnera-

bility estimation and actual nitrates occurrence.

2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Introduction

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +3210 9414210; fax: +32610 997782. ease with which a contaminant introduced into the ground

E-mail address: anton_a@hol.gr (A.K. Antonakos). surface can reach and diffuse in groundwater (Margat,

0022-1694/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.08.014

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 289

1968; Vrba and Zaporozec, 1994). It is a relative, dimension- Parameters used as predictor variables can be continuous

less and non-measurable property, which depends on the or discrete variables.

aquifer characteristics, but also the characteristics of the A method similar to logistic regression, based on the

wider geological and hydrological environment (unsaturated probability of occurrence of a binary pattern and Bayes

zone, soil horizon, relief, recharge, etc.). rules for probability, is the weights of evidence method

Specific vulnerability may be expressed as the likelihood originally developed for mineral potential mapping.

that an aquifer be polluted by contaminants, which are The end product of these two methods is a distribution of

introduced into the ground surface. This is determined by probability that a pollutant will exceed a certain value,

the aquifer intrinsic vulnerability and the contaminant load- showing statistically derived indications of vulnerability as

ing that is applied to the specific point of the hydrogeolog- opposed to the more subjective categorical rating methods.

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ical basin or even in a region around this point. The Process-based methods refer to approaches that either

contaminant loading is determined by the quantity, the simulate or otherwise take into account physical processes

physico-chemical properties, and the way in which the var- of water movement and the associated fate and transport

ious contaminants are released into the environment. of contaminants in the environment. These approaches usu-

The assessment of groundwater vulnerability to pollution ally include the use of process simulating models that calcu-

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has been subject to intensive research during the past years late the distribution of vulnerable or intrinsically

and a variety of methods have been developed. The sim- susceptible areas based on the movement of water and sol-

plest to apply and for that reason the most widely used utes. Because of data needs and complexity, these methods

are the Rating Models. These methods classify each are suitable mainly for large scale studies.

parameter, which potentially influences the probability of Combinations of the above methods also known as hybrid

pollution of the aquifer, in a scale and lead to a score, which methods are defined in general as any methods that com-

designates the vulnerability of the groundwater (LeGrand, bine components of statistical, process-based, and (or) in-

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1964; Foster, 1987; US Environmental Protection Agency, dex methods. Objective hybrid methods include

1993). combinations of statistical, process-based, or other objec-

An evolution of these methods is the Point Count Sys- tive components in the determination of explanatory vari-

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tem Models (PCSM) or Parameter Weighting and Rating ables or processes. Objective hybrid methods commonly

Methods, which apart from classifying the various rely on preconceived scoring systems such as DRASTIC or

parameters also introduce relative weight coefficients other index methods.

for each factor. In this study, three hybrid methods combining the DRAS-

The most widespread PCSM method of evaluation of the TIC methods categorization and rating principles, with sta-

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intrinsic vulnerability is the DRASTIC method (Aller et al., tistical procedures such as descriptive statistics, logistic

1987). This method, taking into account seven parameters regression and weights of evidence are developed and their

of the geological and hydrological environment, was devel- results are compared. Comparison is based on the correla-

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oped in the USA, where it has been applied several times tion of their results to actual pollution occurrence (ex-

(Durnford et al., 1990; Evans and Myers, 1990; Halliday pressed as nitrate concentration or probability of

and Wolfe, 1991; Rundquist et al., 1991; Fritch et al., exceeding a certain nitrate concentration), their complex-

2000; Shukla et al., 2000), but also in many other regions ity and their data needs. The selection of nitrates as a pol-

of the world (Lobo-Ferreira and Oliveira, 1997; Lynch lution index was based not only on the fact that it

et al., 1997; Melloul and Collin, 1998; Johansson et al., constitutes the main contaminant that human activities

1999; Kim and Hamm, 1999; Zabet, 2002). introduce into the environment of the study area, but also

Two other groups of methods for the assessment of aqui- because it has been proposed as a representative indicator

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fer specific vulnerability (pollution potential) are the statis- of groundwater quality degradation (US Environmental Pro-

tical and process-based methods. tection Agency, 1996).

Statistical methods range from simple descriptive statis-

tics of concentrations of targeted contaminants to more

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complex regression analyses that incorporate the effects Geological and hydrogeological setting

of several predictor variables. When a dataset of water-

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quality and potential explanatory variables is available, sta- The study area is located in the northeastern part of Pelo-

tistical models, mainly in the form of regression equations, ponnesus Greece, in the central part of Korinthia prefecture

can be used to predict probabilities of contamination. area and it is approximately 902 km2 in area (Fig. 1).

Hypothesis tests allow elimination of insignificant variables The geological bedrock consists of the carbonate sedi-

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that offer little to the assessment process. The procedure ments of the Trapezona sequence (a transition zone between

produces weighting factors that optimize the use of impor- Pindos and Pelagonian geotectonic zones) in the southeast-

tant variables thereby removing the need for subjective ern part of the study area and the carbonate sediments

influences of best professional judgment in determining and flysch of the Pindos and Tripolis zones in the southwest-

the importance of each variable. Logistic regression is a sta- ern part of the study area (Katsikatsos, 1992) (Fig. 2a).

tistical method that predicts the probability of occurrence The Trapezona carbonate sequence consists of plated

of a binary pattern. (Helsel and Hirsch, 1992). Concentra- limestones of Triassic to Upper Jurassic age with nodules

tions of pollutants are continuous parameters but can be and thin bands of chert. In Middle Jurassic, this sequence

transformed to binary form using a threshold concentration. was interfered by the shalescherts formation made up of

Concentrations above this threshold can be denoted as pres- bedded sandstone clay and marl with ophiolithic bodies in

ence and concentrations below this threshold as absence. theme.

290 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

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Figure 1 Shaded relief and geographic orientation map of the study area.

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The Tripolis zone consists of a dolomitic limestone to The Calabrian conglomerates aquifer with an average

limestone series of Upper Jurassic to Eocene age, which thickness of 50100 m and high values of hydraulic con-

are uncomformably overlaid by the Tripolis zone flysch ductivity (129.6 m/day) (Zervogiannis, 1991).

formation. The aquifer that develops within the eluvial and sea ter-

The Pindos zone formation in the study area consists of races formations, with an average thickness of 3050 m

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Upper Cretaceous platy limestones, which are uncomform- and medium to high hydraulic conductivity values

ably overlaid by the Pindos zone flysch formation. Pindos (1.72 m/day) (Mastoris et al., 1971).

zone is geotectonically overthrusted on the Tripolis zone The aquifer that develops within recent alluvial and talus

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with a general NESW thrust direction. cone deposits with an average thickness of 4060 m and

The main part of the study area is covered by post oro- hydraulic conductivity values varying from 8.64 to

genic sediments of Pliocene to Holocene age, which uncom- 69.12 m/day (Koumantakis et al., 1999). This aquifer is

formably overlay the bedrock formations. They consist of in most cases in hydraulic contact with the underlying

Pliocene lacustrine marls interbedded by thin layers of con- aquifer of eluvial and sea terraces formations from which

glomerates and sandstones, cemented fluvial (proximal and it is laterally recharged.

distal) conglomerates of Calabrian age, sea terraces of Tyr-

rhenian age, eluvial deposits consisting of alterations of red The impermeable layer underlying all the aquifers of the

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sand, clay, sandy loam and loose conglomerates of Pleisto- post orogenic sediments is the lacustine marls of the Plio-

cene age and finally recent alluvial deposits and talus cones cene marl formation as it can be seen in the geological cross

(Fig. 2a). section of Fig. 2a.

From the hydrogeological point of view six major hydro- The mean annual precipitation in the study area for the

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geological units (aquifers) can be distinguished: period 19752004 is 594 mm, which corresponds to the

mean annual rainfall water volume of 535.8 106 m3. Pre-

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The carbonate aquifers of the bedrock which are fully cipitation is directly related to altitude by the relationship

karstic for the Trapezona sequence and Tripolis zone P = 0.34 h + 468. The water balance parameters have been

and partly karstic for the Pindos zone. They are highly computed based on the procedures described by Thorn-

productive aquifers with an average thickness of 100 thwaite et al. (1955). A big part of the annual precipitation

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400 m and hydraulic conductivity values varying from namely 360.9 106 m3 (67.5%) is lost via evapotranspiration,

0.34775.6 m/day (Mastoris et al., 1971; Morfis and while 102.6 106 m3 (19.1%) infiltrates and recharges

Zojer, 1986). groundwater. The rest 71.8 106 m3 (13.4%) discharges to

The flysch formations of Tripolis and Pindos zones as well the sea as surface runoff.

as the shalescherts formations of the Trapezona A major part of the study area, namely 49.9%, is covered

sequence can be distinguished as impermeable units. with intensive cultivations (vineyards, fruit trees, olive

The Pliocene marl aquifer that develops in the thin beds groves) which are widely spread in the whole extent of

of sandstones and conglomerates interbedded within the the study area. The use of inorganic fertilizers in these cul-

marl formation. It is a confined aquifer with an average tivations has a great polluting effect on groundwater. The

thickness of 210 m and low hydraulic conductivity val- composition of these fertilizers is mainly ammonium sul-

ues (0.086 m/day) (Mastoris et al., 1971). phate and ammonium nitrate, so the major expected pollu-

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 291

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Figure 2 Base maps of the study area: (a) geological map and geological cross-section of the study area; (b) land use map of the

study area; (c) soil type map of the study area.

292 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

tant in the study area is nitrogen mainly in the form of ni- Methodology of determination of aquifer

trates. A big part of the coastal zone of the study area is

specific vulnerability (pollution risk)

covered by urban and suburban areas, which add an extra

environmental pressure to the groundwater of the coastal

The modified DRASTIC method

alluvial aquifer.

As it was mentioned before, the DRASTIC method considers

seven parameters, making up the acronym: Depth to

Materials and methods groundwater, Recharge, Aquifer type, Soil type, Topogra-

phy, Impact of the vadose zone, hydraulic Conductivity.

These parameters are imported in a simple linear equa-

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For the determination of actual pollution occurrence in the

study area, an extensive sampling and analysis program of tion, after they have been reduced from the physical range

groundwater was conducted. Groundwater samples were scale to a ten-grade relative scale. Each parameter is mul-

collected in the dry period of the 2003 hydrological year tiplied by a weighting coefficient, which has been deter-

at a more or less uniform sampling network, which includes mined subjectively, based on the professional judgment of

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124 sampling points, covering the whole extent of the study the authors of this method. The reduction of the physical

area. Bores were flashed by turning on the bore pump and range scale to the relative ten-grade scale is conducted with

allowing it to run for approximately 30 min, until it was the same philosophy. The linear equation of determination

freshly drawn from the aquifer. Plastic 500 ml bottles were has the following form:

filled with the groundwater sample, filtered through a Milli- V intrinsic D kD R kR A kA S kS T kT I kI

pore filter paper (0.45 lm), and stored in an insulated

C kC 1

cooler until frozen later in the day. Samples were analyzed

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for NO3 by the cadmium reduction method, using a DR/4000

Where V(intrinsic) is the intrinsic vulnerability, D the depth

Hach spectrophotometer. to groundwater, R the recharge, A the aquifer type, S the

In addition, to the results of this study, results from soil type, T the topography (surface slope), I the impact

three other studies conducted earlier in parts of the study

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of the vadose zone type, C the hydraulic conductivity and

area (Daskalaki et al., 1998; Voudouris et al., 2000; Stamatis k the weighting coefficient for each factor.

and Voudouris, 2003) were used in order to support the sta- The major drawback of this method is the subjectivity of

tistical significance of the database used for spatial interpo- the determination of the rating scale and the weighting

lation and statistical analysis. In order to verify that no coefficients. Doubts have also been expressed for the selec-

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statistically significant difference exists between those tion of the specific parameters and the exclusion of others

datasets, individual MannWhitney U test (Mann and Whit- (Garrett et al., 1989; Vrba and Zaporozec, 1994; Merchant,

ney, 1947) was conducted between all possible pairs of 1994; Rosen, 1994).

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datasets as well as an overall KruskalWallis dependency Improvements of the DRASTIC model have been proposed

test (Kruskal and Wallis, 1952). These tests prove that no by several researchers. Most of them propose the subtrac-

statistically significant difference exists among the data tion of factors included in the model (Evans and Myers,

sets used for analysis. 1990; Rupert, 1999) or the inclusion of additional factors

Depth to groundwater distribution was produced based like land use or irrigation type and intensity (Secunda

on water level measurements contacted in 165 wells uni- et al., 1998; Rupert, 1999; McLay et al., 2001). Finally pro-

formly spread in the whole extent of the study area interpo- posals about incorporating DRASTIC with other procedures

lated by the use of ordinary kriging method. or models, like capture zone delineation or finite element

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The determination of the aquifers hydraulic parame- flow and transport models, have been made (Foster, 1987;

ters was based on 14 pumping tests conducted in previ- Merchant, 1994).

ous studies (Mastoris et al., 1971; Voudouris et al., Fewer attempts have been made to validate and verify

2000). the model performance. In most cases, correlation of model

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Due to lack of a soil type map for the study area, a map results with actual pollution occurrence was done for that

was constructed for the needs of the present study, with the purpose (Kalinski et al., 1994; Rupert, 1999; McLay et al.,

combined use of the Land Resource Map (scale 1:50,000) 2001).

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published by the Institute of Forestry of the National Agri- For the assessment of pollution potential in this study, a

cultural Research Foundation and 202 soil core samples modification of the DRASTIC method proposed by Panagop-

and textural analysis performed by the Institute of Forestry oulos et al. (2006) is used. The modification is based upon

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and the Institute of Soil Research of the National Agricul- simple statistical procedures involving

tural Research Foundation. Unit separations of Land Re-

source Map are based on characteristics like landforms, 1. Revision of the rating scale of each parameter

soil depth, slope, aspect, erosion, surficial geology and 2. Revision of the factor weights and

state of natural vegetation. Soil type map (Fig. 2c) was con- 3. Addition and subtraction of parameters, based on their

structed after assigning soil texture classes to every unit of correlation to nitrates concentration.

Land Resource Map according to the soil core sample(s)

every unit map contained. A revision of the rating scales is accomplished by using

Finally for the determination of the land use types of the the mean of every class of each parameter defined in the

study area, the Corine Land Cover (Bossard et al., 2000) initial model. Following the check that was carried out using

data and classification were used. the Wilcoxon rank-sum nonparametric statistical test (Wil-

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 293

coxon, 1945), it was ascertained that the mean of two (parameters with discrete classes, e.g. aquifer type, vadose

neighboring classes, did not differ statistically. Classes were zone type and soil type) all the categories existing in the

grouped in such cases, while for non-continuous parameters area were maintained, regardless of statistical diversity.

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Figure 3 Box plots showing the distribution of groundwater nitrates concentration for the statistically different classes of all the

DRASTIC parameters and land use.

294 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

The box plot diagrams of all the statistically divergent clas- points were available, the grade of each category was

ses of all the DRASTIC parameters are illustrated in Fig. 3. In derived from the literature (Secunda et al., 1998; Rupert,

Table 1 the parameter classes, as well as the corresponding 1999; McLay et al., 2001). The grades of land use categories

rating of each class, the average nitrates concentration and are presented in Table 3. The bottom right box plot diagram

the respective modified rating of every class or group of of Fig. 3 displays the nitrates distribution characteristics for

classes are presented. Modified rating values were derived each land use category.

using the mean nitrates concentration of each class reduced The relative weight of this factor is produced in the same

to a ten-grade scale. way as the other factors revised weights based on the corre-

The next step of the initial model modification is the lation index (Spearman q = 0.32; Kendall s = 0.23) between

revision of the weighting factors, with which each DRASTIC the spatial mean of the land use rating over an area of

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parameter participates in Eq. (1). This revision is achieved 300 m and the nitrates concentration as it is proposed by

by the study of the correlation of each parameter with Panagopoulos et al. (2006).

the nitrates concentration for the 224 sampling points of With the addition of the new parameter, Eq. (2) now ex-

the research area. For the calculation of the quantitative presses the specific vulnerability of the aquifers, such as

correlation between the discrete (nominal) parameters

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V specific Aquifer Pollution Risk

and the nitrates concentration, their factor scores were

used. Additionally, due to the fact that the factor scores 3:5 D 3:8 A 5 T 3:4 I 4 L; 2

vary with an interval scale, the correlation was calculated

where V(specific) is the specific vulnerability, D the depth to

using the Spearmans q and Kendalls s correlation coeffi-

groundwater, R the recharge, A the aquifer type, T the

cients (Kendall, 1975), which are advisable for such type

topography, I the impact of the vadose zone and L the con-

of parameters. Based on these coefficients and after their

taminant loading per land use category.

values were reduced to a scale with a maximum value of

The specific vulnerability or pollution risk map, which re-

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5, as it is defined by the DRASTIC model, the new weighting

sults from the application of the above equation, is pre-

factors were calculated. In the case when one of the coef-

sented in Fig. 4a. Correlation between pollution risk and

ficients is not statistically significant, the corresponding

natural logarithm of nitrates concentration was calculated

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parameter will be excluded from the equation of vulnerabil-

for the 244 sample points with a Spearmans r correlation

ity. Table 2 shows the correlation coefficient values and the

factor of 0.64 and for the entire study area using the Spear-

revised weighting factors, where it becomes evident that

mans r correlation coefficient between all unit cells of the

the Soil type Recharge and Hydraulic conductivity

two distributions in raster format (Bonham-Carter, 1994),

parameters are not statistically significant and should be ex-

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cluded. It is also seen that the largest weighting factor is

to a log scale was done in order to obtain a normally distrib-

attributed to the Topography parameter, while the

uted parameter suitable for the calculation of Pearsons r

Depth to groundwater, Aquifer type and Impact of

coefficient.

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The scatter diagram of Fig. 6a illustrates the correlation

spect to the initial ones, although they remain relatively

between specific vulnerability and the natural logarithm of

high.

nitrates concentration for the 224 sample points.

The original DRASTIC model application, as well as mod-

ifications of the method, is related to the intrinsic vulnera-

bility calculation, which is the most important factor Logistic regression

affecting the nitrates concentration in the groundwater.

However, as mentioned before, the contaminant loading ap- As it was mentioned before Point Count System Models

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plied to the ground surface of the research area has a major (PCSM) like DRASTIC use a simple linear equation to esti-

impact upon the nitrates concentration of the groundwater, mate aquifer vulnerability. This equation is similar to those

and combined with the intrinsic vulnerability constitutes produced by regression models. The main difference be-

the specific vulnerability or pollution risk of the aquifer. tween these two procedures is that parameter weight coef-

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For the calculation of this quantity, one more factor should ficients are subjectively estimated for PCSM models and

be added to the modified DRASTIC equation in order to ex- objectively calculated with the use of the existing data in

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press the contaminant loading in each point of the research the case of regression models.

area. Panagopoulos et al. (2006) suggest theland use as a Regression models have been widely used in environmen-

surrogate variable for the contaminant loading parameter tal studies (Giblin et al., 1981; Rao et al., 1997; Kreuger and

and specifically the spatial mean of the land use rating over Tornqvist, 1998; Xinde et al., 2000), and particularly in

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an area of 300 m surrounding the sample point. It is known aquifer vulnerability assessment (Mueller et al., 1997; Teso-

that high nitrate concentrations in the urban part of the riero and Voss, 1997; Rupert, 1998; Nolan et al., 2002). Mul-

study area are attributed to the use of septic tanks in con- tiple linear regression, which is the most widely used

junction with the disposal domestic effluent into abandoned regression model, uses the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS)

wells. The method tries to incorporate this fact by assigning method for the determination of parameter weight factors.

the maximum rating to the urban land use category. The Least Squares method has some limitations regarding

The grade of each land use category was derived simi- the data used for analysis. The most important of those lim-

larly in accordance with the revision of the rating scales itations consider residuals which must have normal distribu-

of the DRASTIC parameters. Namely, the mean nitrates con- tion and constant variance. If a linear equation is to be

centration in each land use category was used, reduced in a generated using OLS method with nitrate concentration as

ten-grade scale. For land use categories where no data the independent variable and DRASTIC parameters plus land

Table 1 Original and modified ratings of the seven DRASTIC factors

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Depth to ground water Recharge Aquifer Type Soil Type

Range Original Mean Modified Range Original Mean Modified Aquifer Original Mean Modified Soil Original Mean Modified

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(m) rating NO

3 rating o (mm) rating NO

3 rating type usual NO

3 mg=L rating type rating NO

3 rating

mg=L mg=L rating mg=L

01.5 10 67.9 10 050 1 50.8 6.3 Holocene 5 66.5 8.5 Clay 1 58.9 9

1.54.5 9 50100 3 65.0 10 Conglomerate 4 17.4 2.1 Clay loam 3 46.2 7.1

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4.59 7 100180 6 49.1 5 Karstic 8 78.2 10 Sandy clay 4 14.8 2.1

loam

915 5 180250 8 Pleistocene 7 57.0 7.3 Loam 5 64.9 10

1523 3 51.0 7.5 250+ 9 Marl 6 39.5 5 Sandy Clay 5

2330.5 2 42.6 6.1 Flysch 3 33.4 4.2 Sandy Loam 6 24.0 3.7

30.5+ 1 Silty clay 2 60.6 9.3

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Topography Impact of the vadose zone type Conductivity (hydraulic)

Range Original Mean Modified Geological

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Original Mean Modified Range Original Mean Modified

slope (%) rating NO

3 mg=L rating formation usual NO

3 mg=L rating (m/day) rating NO

3 mg=L rating

rating

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02 10 64.6 10 Holocene deposits 8 66.5 8.4 0.011.3 1 41.8 6.1

26 9 Conglomerate 6 17.4 2.1 1.33.9 2 56.3 8.3

612 5 34.1 5.3 Flysch 3 33.4 4.2 3.98.6 4

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1218 3 20.4 3.1 Tyrrhenian sea terrases 6 38.8 4.8 8.613 6 67.3 10

18+ 1 Limestone 6 78.2 10 1324.2 8 17.4 2.5

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability

Pleistocene deposits 6 63.5 8

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295

296 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

Table 2 Original and modified factor weights and correlation coefficients of the factors with the nitrates concentration

Drastic factors Original Spearmans q Kendalls s Modified factor

weight coefficient coefficient weight (derived from coefficients)

Depth to ground water 5 0.34* 0.19* 3.5

Recharge 4 0.05 0.01

Aquifer type 3 0.39* 0.22* 3.8

Soil type 2 0.00 0.02

Topography 1 0.47* 0.28* 5

Impact of the vadose zone type 5 0.35* 0.18* 3.5

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Conductivity (hydraulic) 3 0.08 0.03

Land use 0.33* 0.24* 4

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p < 0.05.

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probabilities P of a binary variable into a continuous re-

Table 3 Land use ratings

sponse variable. The transformed response is predicted

Landuse type Mean NO3 Rating from one or more explanatory variables, and subsequently

concentration retransformed back to a value between 0 and 1.

Coniferous forest 15.9 1 The equation produced from a logistic regression proce-

dure has the general form

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Broad leaved forest 1

Mixed forest 1

eb0 b1 X 1 bn X n

Transitional woodland/shrub 17.1 2 P 3

1 eb0 b1 X 1 bn X n

Principally agricultural land 26.5 3

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Sclerophylous vegetation 32.0 4 For the computation of slope coefficients, a more gen-

Mineral extraction sites 4 eral method than ordinary least squares, valid for both bin-

Natural grassland 5 ary and continuous variables as input data, the Maximum

Non-irrigated arrable land 5 Likelihood Estimation (MLE), is used. Maximum Likelihood

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Olive groves 41.7 6 produced from a given set of slopes. It is an iterative proce-

Road and rail networks 50.9 7 dure available in the more complex statistical software

packages. A function called the log likelihood (l) of the

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Sport and leisure facilities 8 overall regression model is written as

Complex cultivations 67.7 9 X

n

Vineyards 67.2 9 l fy i lnPi 1 y i ln1 Pi g 4

Discontinuous urban fabric 72.0 10 i1

dicted probabilities. The log of either P or 1 P will be neg-

use as dependent variables, then those variables must be in ative and therefore l is a negative number which is

r's

continuous or at least interval scale. The only way to ex- maximized by iteratively substituting estimates of P derived

press discrete variables like aquifer type, vadose zone type, from estimates of slopes and intersect. The log likelihood

soil type and land use type is to use their DRASTIC ratings may be alternately reported as the positive number G, the

which have an interval scale. 2 log likelihood, which is minimized by the MLE procedure.

o

Using the DRASTIC parameters plus land use in a multiple An overall test of whether a logistic regression model fits

regression analysis for the study area revealed that residuals the observed data better than an intercept-only model

th

did not satisfy the limitation of normality as it can be seen (where all slopes bi = 0), analogous to the overall F test in

from the normal probability plot of residuals and the Shap- multiple regression, is given by the overall likelihood ratio

iro-Wilk W statistic (W = 0.859, p = 0.0000) (Shapiro et al., (L):

1968). For this reason an alternative regression model suit-

Au

L G0 G 5

able for the study area data, known as logistic regression

was used (Helsel and Hirsch, 1992). For the evaluation of where G0 is 2 log likelihood of the intercept only model

this method the independent variable must have a binary and G is the 2 log likelihood of the tested model.

form. Continuous parameters like nitrate concentration To compare nested logistic regression models (one model

can be transformed to binary by the use of a threshold. Val- is a more complex version of the other), similar to the par-

ues above that threshold are considered as presence (1) and tial F tests in OLS regression, the test statistic is the partial

below that threshold as absence (0). The threshold value likelihood ratio LP:

used for this study was 50 mg/L. This value was chosen be- LP Gc Gs 6

cause it has a conventional meaning (potable limit) and be-

cause it divides the dataset in to two almost equal subsets where Gc is the 2 log likelihood for the more complex mod-

(109115). Logistic regression transforms the estimated el, and Gs is the 2 log likelihood for the simpler model.

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 297

py

co

al

on

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Figure 4 Distribution maps for the study area: (a) distribution of specific vulnerability (pollution risk) produced by the modified

DRASTIC method; (b) distribution of probability of nitrates exceeding the value of 50 mg/L (pollution risk) generated by the logistic

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regression method; (c) distribution of probability of nitrates exceeding the value of 50 mg/L generated by the indication kriging

procedure; (d) distribution of probability of nitrates exceeding the value of 50 mg/L (pollution risk) generated by the weights of

evidence method.

Another test to compare nested and especially non- concentration and therefore will be included in the logistic

nested logistic regression models, where partial likelihood regression model. They are the same parameters that were

ratios are not appropriate, is the Akaikes Information Crite- included in the final modification of the DRASTIC model as it

r's

rion (AIC) (Akaike, 1973). AIC includes a measure of model was decided based on Spearmans q and Kendalls s correla-

error (l) and a penalty for additional variables. tion coefficients (Kendall, 1975). This is an additional evi-

dence that those parameters are really meaningful for

AIC l k 7

aquifer vulnerability assessment.

o

where l is the log likelihood and k is the number of explan- For the selection of the best combination of the five sig-

atory variables. Better models are those with small AIC. nificantly related parameters, all possible subsets (nested

th

In the present study, for the evaluation of logistic regres- models) were compared based on their log-likelihood ratio

sion, the seven parameters used by the DRASTIC model plus and the Akaikes Information Criterion (AIC). Results for

the land use were used as independent variables. The the five more favourable models based on the above men-

choices of these parameters made the results of logistic tioned criteria are presented in Table 5. Among those five

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regression model directly comparable to those of the mod- models, the one containing all five parameters was chosen

ified DRASTIC model and maintain the original physical base because it has the better (smaller) log-likelihood ratio (G)

of vulnerability assessment. Individual (univariate) relations and a relatively small deference in AIC criterion with the

between those eight parameters and binary form of nitrate model containing the parameters, Depth to groundwater,

concentration were investigated using logistic regression Topography (slope) and Land use which is the one with the

(log-likelihood ratio and Walds statistics) (Wald, 1945) in smallest AIC criterion. Another reason to maintain all five

order to determine which variables were significantly re- parameters, besides statistical tests, is to insure that

lated. Table 4 summarizes the results of this analysis. As parameters which have been proven to have an important

it is shown only five out of eight parameters, namely, Depth effect on aquifer vulnerability will not be excluded.

to groundwater, Aquifre type, Topography (slope), Vadose Using the estimates produced by the MLE procedure for

zone type and Land use, are significantly related to nitrate those five parameters, we conclude to the following equa-

298 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

Table 4 Log-likelihood and Walt statistic values for the parameters used for pollution risk assessment

Log-likelihood v2 p-Value Wald t p-Value

Intersept 155.18

Depth to ground water 148.77 12.821 0.0003 12.10 0.0005

Recharge 155.18 0.009 0.9256 0.01 0.9256

Aquifer media 147.07 16.228 0.0001 14.93 0.0001

Soil media 155.00 0.360 0.5486 0.36 0.5490

Topography 138.11 34.146 0.0000 22.05 0.0000

Impact of the vadose zone media 148.71 12.959 0.0003 11.77 0.0006

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Conductivity (hydraulic) 155.12 0.125 0.7240 0.12 0.7241

Land use 143.30 23.768 0.0000 20.12 0.0000

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Table 5 Values for the G and AIC statistics for the five preferable logistic regression subsets of parameters

Model definition Degrees of freedom G v2 p-Value AIC v2 p-Value

DATIL 5 265.83 44.54 0.00 277.83 44.54 0.00

DATL 4 266.35 44.02 0.00 276.35 44.02 0.00

DTL 3 267.06 43.31 0.00 275.06 43.31 0.00

ATL 3 267.93 42.44 0.00 275.93 42.44 0.00

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TL 2 269.44 40.93 0.00 275.44 40.93 0.00

D is depth to groundwater, A is the aquifer type, T is the topography (surface slope), I is the vadose zone type L is the land use type, G the

2 log-likelihood and AIC the Akaikes criterion.

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tion for the estimation of the possibility that nitrate con- where m(h) is the number of pairs of samples separated by

centrations will exceed 50 mg/L: the lag distance h. For the needs of the indicator kriging

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e5:160:067D0:0426A0:192T0:225I0:279L

P 8 experimental data semivariogram. The theoretical model

1 e5:160:067D0:0426A0:192T0:225I0:279L chosen for the transformed nitrate concentration, based

where D is the depth to groundwater, A the aquifer type, T on a least squares approach, was the spherical model

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the topography (surface slope), I the vadose zone type and L (range = 3000 and sill = 0.12) with a nugget effect of 0.12,

the land use rating. as shown in Fig. 5. Using that theoretical semivariogram

By the use of this equation and the map calculator func-

tion of ArcGIS software,the distribution of the possibility

that nitrates concentration exceeds 50 mg/L was con-

structed (in raster format) (Fig. 4b). To examine the corre-

lation between logistic regression model predictions and

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trate concentration at each sample point but the probability

of exceeding the threshold of 50 mg/L as it can be esti-

mated for each point of the study area by the use of indica-

o

tor kriging.

Instead of the actual value of a parameter indicator kri-

ging uses an indicator binary parameter created using a

th

threshold as follows:

1 if zx P zc

xx 9

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0 otherwise

tinuous parameter (nitrate concentration) and zc is the

threshold value (50 mg/L).

Similar to simple kriging the expected semivariances can

be estimated from indicator data as follows (Webster and

Oliver, 2001; Goovaerts, 1997):

1

czxc fxx i ; zc xx i h; zc g2 10 the interpolation of the probability of nitrates exceeding the

2 mh i1 value of 50 mg/L.

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 299

of nitrates probability exceeding 50 mg/L was created (in

raster format) (Fig. 4c).

Correlation between logistic regression probability and

probability produced by indicator kriging was calculated

for the 244 sample points with a Spearmans r correlation

factor of 0.69 (Fig. 6b) and for the entire study area using

the Spearmans r correlation coefficient between all unit

cells of the two distributions in raster format (Bonham-Car-

ter, 1994), which was 0.62.

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Weights of evidence

ing evidence in support of a hypothesis. The method was

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originally developed for a nonspatial application in medical

diagnosis. The first spatial application of Weights of evi-

dence was for mineral potential mapping with GIS (Asadi

and Hale, 1999; Bonham-Carter et al., 1988). Lately

Weights of evidence was used for environmental applica-

tions and specifically for aquifer vulnerability assessment

(Alberti et al., 2001; Baker et al., 2002).

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The weights of evidence is the log-linear version of the

general Bayesian model which is based on the idea of prior

(unconditional) and posterior (conditional) probability. In

on

a raster based approach if the area of the unit cell is u

and the area of the base map (T) is A(T), then A(T)/

u = N(T) is the area of the base map in unit cells. The num-

ber of training points (wells with nitrate concentration

above 50 mg/L) within the base map is denoted as N(D)

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Suppose an indicator pattern, used for prediction of points

with nitrate concentration above 50 mg/L, is denoted by

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u = N(B) the same area expressed in unit cells. Similarly

NB is the area expressed in unit cells where B is absent.

The prior probability P(D) per unit area that the region occu-

pied by the study area containing a deposit (a point where

nitrate concentration is above 50 mg/L) is assumed to be

constant equal to the training points density:

ND

r's

PD 11

NT

The posterior probability of a deposit given the presence

of an indicator pattern will either increase or decrease (as

compared to the prior probability). Given the presence of

o

can be calculated from the prior probability, P(D), by

th

PBjD

PDjB PD 12

PB

A similar expression can be derived for the posterior

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Figure 6 Scatter diagram for the 224 ample points of the

study area between: (a) specific vulnerability (pollution risk) PBjD

PDjB PD 13

produced by the modified DRASTIC method and groundwater PB

nitrates concentration (logarithmically transformed); (b) prob- Using the odds form, the logit transformation and alge-

ability of nitrates exceeding the value of 50 mg/L generated by braic manipulations, we can obtain an equation giving the

the logistic regression method and probability of nitrates probability of a deposit occurring given the presence of an

exceeding the value of 50 mg/L generated by the indication indicator pattern B in logit form: !

kriging procedure; (c) probability of nitrates exceeding the PBjD

value of 50 mg/L generated by the weights of evidence method logitDjB logitD logit ) logitDjB

PBjD

and probability of nitrates exceeding the value of 50 mg/L

generated by the indication kriging procedure. logitD W 14

300 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

Similar algebraic manipulations lead to logit of odds for model plus the land use factor are statistically correlated,

the conditional probability of D given the absence of the these factors were included in the weights of evidence

indicator pattern B: model as well.

! Another important consideration for the correct applica-

PBjD tion of weights of evidence is conditional independence (CI)

logitDjB logitD logit ) logitDjB

PBjD that is assumed to exist when combining two or more maps

logitD W 15 with a Bayesian model. CI is always violated to some degree

and the question is what degree of violation is acceptable.

If we assume that we have n indicator patterns, the CI can be checked with statistical tests in two ways. The

above equations take the form: first method involves testing pairwise CI between all possi-

py

X

n ble pairings of the binary maps being combined using the

logitDjB1 \ B2 \ . . . Bn logitD W 16 v2 independence statistical test between predicted and ob-

i1 served number of deposits. Multiclass maps containing n

and number of classes can be encountered as n binary maps with

each class being present in each binary map, but they pro-

co

X

n

duce a huge number of possible pairs making the method

logitDjB1 \ B2 \ . . . Bn logitD W 17

i1

practically not applicable for multiclass maps. The second

method involves a simple overall statistical test based on

Weights W+ and W are estimated from the measured the ratio of total number of observed and predicted depos-

association between known points where nitrate concentra- its. Values over 0.85 may indicate a problem. A more sophis-

tion is above 50 mg/L and the values on the maps to be used ticated overall independence test proposed by Agterberg

as predictors. The hypothesis is then repeatedly evaluated and Cheng (2002) uses one tail v2 statistical test for the

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for all possible locations on the map using the calculated ratio:

weights, producing a pollution potential map in which the NDcalc NDobs

evidence from several map layers is combined. 18

sNDcalc

on

For the evaluation of weights of evidence in the study

area, a model in the form of an extension for ArcGIS soft- where N(D) is the number of observed deposits, N(D)calc the

ware, called ArcSDM (Kemp et al., 2001; Sawatzky et al., number of predicted deposits, and s[N(D)calc] the standard

2004), was used. The ArcSDM model can be applied to evi- deviation of N(D)calc. The number of predicted deposits

dential themes (indicator patterns) with binary (presence/ can be determined by adding together the product of the

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absence) classes, or to multi-class maps. Binary evidence area in unit cells N(A), times the posterior probability P

is relatively simple to interpret and produce weights with for all polygons (or pixels in a raster based approach) on

smaller variances, and is therefore more stable. Neverthe- the map, thus

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multi class or continuous. For example geological maps, X

n

NDcalc P k NAk 19

even after they have been simplified, usually comprise sev- k1

eral units and parameters like groundwater depth or aquifer

recharge are continuous and the only possibility is to group After conducting the overall independence test for the

their values in several classes. model containing the five aforementioned parameters, a ra-

Weights calculated for a small number of classes are tio of observed to predicted number of deposits with a value

more robust than the ones calculated using a large number of 0.695 was obtained indicating conditional dependency

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of classes, and this is particularly critical when a relatively while Agterberg and Chung test also indicated that condi-

small number of points are in the training data. On the other tional independency hypothesis should be rejected. The

hand, including more classes may reflect the real picture of two parameters having greater spatial dependency are

favourable or unfavourable evidence with more precision. those of vadose zone type and aquifer type as they are both

o

Considering the above comments, it may be assumed that resulted from the geological map of the study area. Conse-

DRASTIC classification of the parameters used for aquifer quently, the parameter among those two with the smallest

th

vulnerability assessment must be satisfactory for the appli- influence (based on correlation factor), namely vadose zone

cation of the weights of evidence model. Furthermore, the type, was decided to be excluded from the model. After the

classification arisen after the first step modification of exclusion of the vadose zone parameter, the observed to

DRASTIC method due to the fact that classes for continuous predicted number ratio became 0.87 indicating a small but

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variables are minimized to those statistically independent acceptable violation of CI and the Agterberg and Chung test

must be even more suitable. Land use parameter was also indicated that conditional independency hypothesis

grouped into seven classes according to the rating of each should not be rejected.

original class and flysch aquifer type was grouped with con- W+, W and weight difference C for all classes of the four

glomerates aquifer due to the lack of training points in the parameters participating in the final weights of evidence

flysch aquifer type which takes up a very small part of the model are illustrated in Table 6. Large values of C indicate

study area namely 3 km2. The grouping of the two aquifer greater influence of the specific class to model results and

types was based on the similarity of their original ratings. small values of C variance indicate more reliable results

Based on the fact that both Spearmans r correlation factor for the specific class.

and log-likelihood ratios of simple logistic regression indi- Correlation between the response theme of posterior

cate that only four (out of seven) factors of the DRASTIC probability resulting from weights of evidence model

Development and testing of three hybrid methods for the assessment of aquifer vulnerability 301

Table 6 Values of W+, W, C and their variances used for the weights of evidence model

Class Area (km2) Training points W+ s(W+) W s(W) C s(C)

Depth to ground water

015 m 532.0 23 1.111 0.213 0.788 0.123 1.899 0.246

1523 m 162.3 19 0.033 0.244 0.007 0.113 0.040 0.269

>23 m 208.5 67 1.242 0.148 0.758 0.159 2.000 0.218

Aquifer type

Conglomerate aquifers + Flysch aquifer 128.2 1 2.835 1.004 0.161 0.104 2.995 1.009

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Marl aquifer 335.3 10 1.496 0.321 0.430 0.111 1.926 0.340

Pleistocene aquifers 107.5 25 0.786 0.228 0.150 0.115 0.936 0.256

Holocene aquifers 189.1 72 1.500 0.150 0.921 0.169 2.421 0.226

Karstic Aquifer 142.5 1 2.970 1.004 0.188 0.104 3.158 1.009

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Topography

06 374.9 4 2.545 0.503 0.593 0.109 3.139 0.514

612 166.7 3 2.017 0.583 0.204 0.105 2.221 0.592

>12 360.8 102 1.053 0.117 2.350 0.380 3.403 0.398

Land use

Coniferous forest + broad leaved 356.6 3 1.776 0.585 0.150 0.105 1.926 0.594

forest + mixed forest + transitional

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woodland shrub + land principally

occupied by agriculture

Schlerophylous vegetation + mineral 99.9 12 0.088 0.308 0.011 0.109 0.099 0.326

extraction sites

on

Natural grassland + non-irrigated 119.0 10 0.484 0.330 0.065 0.108 0.549 0.348

arrable land + pastures

Olive groves 26.9 1 1.354 1.019 0.027 0.103 1.381 1.024

Fruit trees + sport and leisure facilities 193.3 73 1.407 0.148 0.929 0.172 2.336 0.227

rs

Complex cultivations + vineyards 8.1 3 1.394 0.730 0.021 0.104 1.415 0.738

Discontinuous urban fabric 37.1 7 0.449 0.420 0.025 0.106 0.474 0.433

W logit PBjD .

pe

PBjD

W logit PBjD .

PBjD

C = W+ W.

s = variance.

(Fig. 4d) with the probability of nitrate concentration background for the creation of hybrid methods for the

exceeding the value of 50 mg/L which was obtained from assessment of pollution risk of an aquifer if a hydrochem-

indication kriging, as it was discussed in the previous para- ical database from samples points of that aquifer is

r's

of r was 0.68 for the 224 sample points, slightly higher than The utilization of simple statistical quantities like arith-

those of modified DRASTIC methodology and comparable to metic mean or simple statistical tests like tests of depen-

the one obtained from logistic regression. However, the cor- dency and correlation between parameters used as

o

responding r factor for the entire study area was signifi- predictors of aquifer pollution risk and hydrochemical

cantly smaller, namely 0.56. The significant difference parameters can lead to DRASTIC method modifications,

th

between the two correlation factors denotes that a weight which may predict aquifer pollution risk more accurately

of evidence method probably produces poor predictions in than the original model.

areas where there are no available training points. As it More complicated statistical methods like logistic regres-

can be seen from the scatter diagram of Fig. 6c, between sion or weights of evidence can make use of DRASTIC param-

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posterior probability resulted from weights of evidence eters, classification and rating for the production of

model with the probability of nitrate concentration exceed- pollution risk distribution with the form of probability of

ing the value of 50 mg/L, which was obtained from indica- exceeding a certain pollutant (i.e. nitrates) value achieving

tion kriging for the 224 sample points. There is a gathering fair correlation with obtained values of the specific

of posterior probabilities to edge values probably reflecting pollutant.

the binary nature of the weights of evidence model. Table 7 demonstrates the Pearsons r correlation factors

between pollution risk estimated from the three above

Conclusionsdiscussion developed hybrid methods with the nitrates concentration

for the 224 sample points as well as for the entire distribu-

DRASTIC model originally used for intrinsic aquifer vulner- tion of these parameters for the whole extent of the study

ability assessment can be used as an initial theoretical area.

302 A.K. Antonakos, N.J. Lambrakis

Table 7 Pearsons r correlation factors between estimated values of aquifer pollution risk and actual nitrates occurrence for

the three methods used for pollution risk assessment

Pollution risk model definition Pearson (r) correlation Pearson (r) correlation

factor (sample points) factor (entire distribution)

Modified DRASTIC approach (Panagopoulos et al., 2006) 0.64 0.65

Logistic regression model 0.69 0.62

Weights of evidence model 0.68 0.56

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As it can be seen the more complicated statistical meth- Baker, A.E., Cichon, J.R., Arthur, J.D., and Raines, G.L., 2002.

ods provide a higher correlation factor than the method pro- Florida vulnerability assessment [abs.] in Abstracts with

posed by Panagopoulos et al., but a significantly smaller one Programs Geological Society of America 2002 Annual

co

for the entire distribution. That piece of evidence can be Meeting, Denver. CO, Oct. 2730, 2002: Denver, CO, 34,

346347.

attributed to the fact that both logistic regression and

Bonham-Carter, G.F., Agterberg, F.P., Wright, D.F., 1988. Integra-

weights of evidence methods are clearly data driven and tion of geological datasets for gold exploration in Nova Scotia.

produce relatively poor estimates in areas where few or Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 54 (11),

no sample points exist. On the other hand, Panagopoulos 15851592.

et al.s method preserving more of the original DRASTIC Bonham-Carter, G.F., 1994. Geographic Information Systems for

model subjectivity provides more reliable results in areas Geoscientists. Pergamon, New York.

al

with missing data points. Bossard, M., Feranec, J., Otahel, J., 2000. The revised and

However, because the entire analysis procedure is based supplemented Corine Land Cover nomenclature. European Envi-

upon the occurrence of one specific pollutant namely ni- ronmental Agency Technical Report 38.

Daskalaki, P., Voudouris, K., Diamantopoulou, P., 1998. Hydro-

on

trates, it remains to be investigated if the three above

chemical study of North Peloponnesus quaternary and pliopleis-

developed methods attain the same success in the estima-

tocene aquifers. In: Proceedings of the International Conference

tion of specific aquifer vulnerability for other common pol- on Protection and Restoration of the Environment IV, Sami,

lutants like pesticides or heavy metals. Greece.

Durnford, D.S., Thompson, K.R., Ellerbrook, D.A., Loftis, J.C.,

rs

tion potential from pesticide use in Colorado agriculture:

Acknowledgements Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Fort Collins.

pe

The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for their kind Evans, B.M., Myers, W.L., 1990. A CIS-based approach to evaluating

and helpful comments and suggestions for improving the regional groundwater pollution potential with DRASTIC. Journal

manuscript and Mr. Richard Boswell for syntax and grammar of Soil and Water Conservation (MarchApril), 242245.

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was conducted under the K. Karatheodoris project, ability, pollution risk and protection strategy. In: Duijven-

booden, W., Waegeningh, H.G. (Eds.), Vulnerability of Soil

funded by the Research Committee of the University of

and Groundwater to Pollutants. TNO Committee on Hydro-

Patras. logical Research, The Hague, Proceedings and Information

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Fritch, T.G., McKnight, C.L., Yelderman, J.C., Arnold, J.G., 2000.

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