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Using Artificial Neural Network to Forecast Groundwater Depth in Union County Well

Authors: Zahra Ghadampour, Gholamreza Rakhshandehroo

Abstract:

A concern that researchers usually face in different applications of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is determination of the size of effective domain in time series. In this paper, trial and error method was used on groundwater depth time series to determine the size of effective domain in the series in an observation well in Union County, New Jersey, U.S. different domains of 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120 preceding day were examined and the 80 days was considered as effective length of the domain. Data sets in different domains were fed to a Feed Forward Back Propagation ANN with one hidden layer and the groundwater depths were forecasted. Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and the correlation factor (R2) of estimated and observed groundwater depths for all domains were determined. In general, groundwater depth forecast improved, as evidenced by lower RMSEs and higher R2s, when the domain length increased from 20 to 120. However, 80 days was selected as the effective domain because the improvement was less than 1% beyond that. Forecasted ground water depths utilizing measured daily data (set #1) and data averaged over the effective domain (set #2) were compared. It was postulated that more accurate nature of measured daily data was the reason for a better forecast with lower RMSE (0.1027 m compared to 0.255 m) in set #1. However, the size of input data in this set was 80 times the size of input data in set #2; a factor that may increase the computational effort unpredictably. It was concluded that 80 daily data may be successfully utilized to lower the size of input data sets considerably, while maintaining the effective information in the data set.

Keywords: Neural networks, groundwater depth, forecast.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1334690

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