Prediction of groundwater nitrate concentration in a semiarid region using hybrid Bayesian artificial intelligence approaches

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Mar;29(14):20421-20436. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-17224-9. Epub 2021 Nov 4.


Nitrate is a major pollutant in groundwater whose main source is municipal wastewater and agricultural activities. In the present study, Bayesian approaches such as Bayesian generalized linear model (BGLM), Bayesian regularized neural network (BRNN), Bayesian additive regression tree (BART), and Bayesian ridge regression (BRR) were used to model groundwater nitrate contamination in a semiarid region Marvdasht watershed, Fars province, Iran. Eleven groundwater (GW) nitrate conditioning factors have been taken as input parameters for predictive modeling. The results showed that the Bayesian models used in this study were all competent to model groundwater nitrate and the BART model with R2 = 0.83 was more efficient than the other models. The result of variable importance showed that potassium (K) has the highest importance in the models followed by rainfall, altitude, groundwater depth, and distance from the residential area. The results of the study can support the decision-making process to control and reduce the sources of nitrate pollution.

Keywords: Bayesian additive regression tree; Bayesian approach; Groundwater nitrate contamination; Pollution monitoring.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Groundwater*
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Nitrates
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical