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Article

A Novel Approach to Harmonize Vulnerability Assessment in Carbonate and Detrital Aquifers at Basin Scale

Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), Urb. Alcázar del Genil, 4. Edificio Zulema, bajo, 18006 Granada, Spain
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Water 2020, 12(11), 2971; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112971
Received: 23 September 2020 / Revised: 19 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing Water Quality by Statistical Methods)
The DRASTIC (D: Depth to water; R: Net recharge; A: Aquifer media; S: Soil media; T: Topography; I: Impact of vadose zone; C: Hydraulic conductivity) index is usually applied to assess intrinsic vulnerability in detrital and carbonate aquifers, although it does not take into account the particularities of karst systems as the COP (C: Concentration of flow; O: Overlying layers above water table; P: precipitation) method does. In this paper we aim to find a reasonable correspondence between the vulnerability maps obtained using these two methods. We adapt the DRASTIC index in order to obtain reliable assessments in carbonate aquifers while maintaining its original conceptual formulation. This approach is analogous to the hypothesis of “equivalent porous medium”, which applies to karstic aquifers the numerical solution developed for detrital aquifers. We applied our novel method to the Upper Guadiana Basin, which contains both carbonate and detrital aquifers. Validation analysis demonstrated a higher confidence in the vulnerability assessment provided by the COP method in the carbonate aquifers. The proposed method solves an optimization problem to minimize the differences between the assessments provided by the modified DRASTIC and COP methods. Decision trees and spatial statistics analyses were combined to identify the ranges and weights of DRASTIC parameters to produce an optimal solution that matches the COP vulnerability classification for carbonate aquifers in 75% of the area, while maintaining a reliable assessment of the detrital aquifers in the Basin. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater vulnerability; carbonate aquifers; optimized DRASTIC; COP; decision trees; nitrate validation groundwater vulnerability; carbonate aquifers; optimized DRASTIC; COP; decision trees; nitrate validation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Baena-Ruiz, L.; Pulido-Velazquez, D. A Novel Approach to Harmonize Vulnerability Assessment in Carbonate and Detrital Aquifers at Basin Scale. Water 2020, 12, 2971. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112971

AMA Style

Baena-Ruiz L, Pulido-Velazquez D. A Novel Approach to Harmonize Vulnerability Assessment in Carbonate and Detrital Aquifers at Basin Scale. Water. 2020; 12(11):2971. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112971

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baena-Ruiz, Leticia; Pulido-Velazquez, David. 2020. "A Novel Approach to Harmonize Vulnerability Assessment in Carbonate and Detrital Aquifers at Basin Scale" Water 12, no. 11: 2971. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112971

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