This paper discusses and compares the potential application of the evidential belief function model and fuzzy logic inference system technique for spatial delineation of a groundwater artesian zone boundary in an arid region of central Iraq. First, a flowing well inventory of a total of 93 perennial flowing wells was constructed and randomly partitioned into two data sets: 70% (65 wells) for training and 30% (28 wells) for validation. Twelve groundwater conditioning factors were considered in the geospatial analysis depending on data availability and literature review. The random forest (RF) algorithm was first applied to investigate the most important conditioning factors in groundwater potential analysis. The most important factors with training flowing wells were used to develop predictive models. The prediction accuracy of the developed models was checked using the area under the relative operating characteristic curve. Results showed that the best model with a higher prediction accuracy of 86% was a fuzzy AND model followed by the evidential model with 84%. The main conclusion of this study is that the integrated use of the adapted models with RF offer a rapid assessment tool in groundwater exploration and can be helpful in groundwater management.

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