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Assessment of Groundwater Nitrate Pollution Potential in Central Valley Aquifer Using Geodetector-Based Frequency Ratio (GFR) and Optimized-DRASTIC Methods

Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(6), 211;
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 27 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Groundwater nitrate contamination in the Central Valley (CV) aquifer of California is widespread throughout the valley because of excess nitrogen fertilizer leaching down into the aquifer. The percolation of nitrate depends on several hydrogeological conditions of the valley. Groundwater contamination vulnerability mapping uses hydrogeologic conditions to predict vulnerable areas. This paper presents a new Geodetector-based Frequency Ratio (GFR) method and an optimized-DRASTIC method to generate nitrate vulnerability index values for the CV. The optimized-DRASTIC method combined the individual weights and rating values for Depth to water, Recharge rate, Aquifer media, Soil media, Topography, Impact of vadose zone, and Hydraulic conductivity. The GFR method incorporated the Frequency-Ratio (FR) method to derive rating values and the Geodetector method to derive relative Power of Determinant (PD) values as weights to generate nitrate susceptibility index map. The optimized-DRASTIC method generated very-high to high index values in the eastern part of the CV. The GFR method showed very-high index values in most part of the San Joaquin and Tulare basin. The quantitatively derived rating values and weights in the GFR method improved the vulnerability index and showed better consistency with the observed nitrate contamination pattern than optimized-DRASTIC index, suggesting that GFR is a better method for groundwater contamination vulnerability mapping in the CV aquifer. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; DRASTIC; Geodetector; Frequency-Ratio; Central Valley; nitrate groundwater; DRASTIC; Geodetector; Frequency-Ratio; Central Valley; nitrate

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Shrestha, A.; Luo, W. Assessment of Groundwater Nitrate Pollution Potential in Central Valley Aquifer Using Geodetector-Based Frequency Ratio (GFR) and Optimized-DRASTIC Methods. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 211.

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