The aim of this work is to investigate new approaches using methods based on statistics and geo-statistics for spatio-temporal optimization of groundwater monitoring networks. The formulated and integrated methods were tested with the groundwater quality data set of Bitterfeld/Wolfen, Germany. Spatially, the monitoring network was optimized using geo-statistical methods. Temporal optimization of the monitoring network was carried out using Sen’s method (1968). For geostatistical network optimization, a geostatistical spatio-temporal algorithm was used to identify redundant wells in 2- and 2.5-D Quaternary and Tertiary aquifers. Influences of interpolation block width, dimension, contaminant association, groundwater flow direction and aquifer homogeneity on statistical and geostatistical methods for monitoring network optimization were analysed. The integrated approach shows 37% and 28% redundancies in the monitoring network in Quaternary aquifer and Tertiary aquifer respectively. The geostatistical method also recommends 41 and 22 new monitoring wells in the Quaternary and Tertiary aquifers respectively. In temporal optimization, an overall optimized sampling interval was recommended in terms of lower quartile (238 days), median quartile (317 days) and upper quartile (401 days) in the research area of Bitterfeld/Wolfen. Demonstrated methods for improving groundwater monitoring network can be used in real monitoring network optimization with due consideration given to influencing factors.
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