Application of deep neural network to capture groundwater potential zone in mountainous terrain, Nepal Himalaya

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Apr;28(15):18501-18517. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-10646-x. Epub 2020 Sep 1.


This study aims to capture groundwater potential zones integrating deep neural network and groundwater influencing factors. The present work was carried out for Gopi khola watershed, mountainous terrain in Nepal Himalaya as the watershed mainly relies upon the groundwater assets; it is a need to explore groundwater potential for better management of the aquifer framework. Ten groundwater influencing factors were collected such as elevation, slope, curvature, topographic positioning index, topographic roughness index, drainage density, topographic wetness index, geology, lineament density, and land use thematic layers. Among those influencing factors, topographic roughness index was removed because of multicollinearity issue to reduce the dimension of the dataset. A spring inventory map of 145 spring locations was prepared using field survey method and an equal number of spring absence points were randomly generated. The 70% of spring and spring absence pixels were used as training dataset and remaining as test dataset. The final map was created based on predicted probabilities ranging from 0 to 1. The validation was done using the receiver operating characteristic curve, which shows that the area under the curve is 76.1% for the training dataset and 82.1% for the test dataset. The sensitivity analysis was performed using Jackknife test which shows that the lineament density is the most important factor. The experimental results demonstrated that deep neural network is highly capable to capture groundwater potential zone in mountainous terrain. The present study might be useful and preliminary work to exploit the groundwater. The consequences of the current study may be valuable to water administrators to settle on appropriate choices on the ideal utilization of groundwater assets for future arranging in the basic investigation zone.

Keywords: Deep neural network; Geographic Information System; Groundwater potential; Mountainous terrain.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Geographic Information Systems*
  • Groundwater*
  • Nepal
  • Neural Networks, Computer