Abstract

Accurate and reliable groundwater level prediction is an important issue in groundwater resource management. The objective of this research is to compare groundwater level prediction of several data-driven models for different prediction periods. Five different data-driven methods are compared to evaluate their performances to predict groundwater levels with 1-, 2- and 3-month lead times. The four quantitative standard statistical performance evaluation measures showed that while all models could provide acceptable predictions of groundwater level, the least square support vector machine (LSSVM) model was the most accurate. We developed a set of input combinations based on different levels of groundwater, total precipitation, average temperature and total evapotranspiration at monthly intervals. For each model, the antecedent inputs that included Ht-1, Ht-2, Ht-3, Tt, ETt, Pt, Pt-1 produced the best-fit model for 1-month lead time. The coefficient of determination (R2) and the root mean square error (RMSE) were calculated as 0.99%, 1.05 meters for the train data set, and 95%, 2.3 meters for the test data set, respectively. It was also demonstrated that many combinations the above-mentioned approaches could model groundwater levels for 1 and 2 months ahead appropriately, but for 3 months ahead the performance of the models was not satisfactory.

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