Many methods for evaluating the aquifer’s vulnerability to pollution have been developed in the past four decades by using geographic information system (GIS) tools. However, even if the aquifer vulnerability concept is well defined and the methods have been constantly tested and compared, the problem of the choice of the best “standard” method remains. To meet these objectives, aquifer vulnerability maps are of crucial importance. The choice of method depends on several factors, including the scale of the project, the hydrogeological characteristics of the area, and data availability. Among the many methods, the AVI (Aquifer Vulnerability Index) method has been widely used as it considers only two physical parameters. The AVI Index represents the hydraulic resistance of an aquifer to vertical flow, as a ratio between the thickness of each sedimentary unit above the uppermost aquifer (D, length), and the estimated hydraulic conductivity (K, length/time) of each of these layers. The AVI Index has a time dimension and is divided into five classes. In order to avoid a widespread presence of the higher vulnerability classes, especially in shallow aquifers, the AVI classification has been modified using statistical methods. The study reports the application of the modified AVI method for groundwater pollution vulnerability, in three different areas of southern Italy, highlighting the limitations of the method in alluvial aquifers and the differences with other methods.
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