Neural network simulation of spring flow in karst environments
Paleologos, Evan K.
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Daily discharges of two springs lying in a karstic environment were simulated for a period of 2.5 years with the use of a multi-layer perceptron back-prop- agation neural network. Two models were developed for the springs, one relying on the original data and another where the missing discharge values were supplemented by assuming linear relationships during base flow conditions. For both springs the mean square error of the two models did not differ significantly, with an improvement exhibited at the extremes, during the network’s training phase, by the model that utilized the extended data set, the results of which are reported here. The time lag between precipita- tion and spring discharge differed significantly for the two springs indicating that in karstic environments hydraulic behavior is dominated, even within a few hundred meters, by local conditions. Optimum training results were attained with a Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm resulting in a net- work architecture consisting of two input layer neurons, four hidden layer neurons, and one output layer neuron, the spring’s discharge. The neural network’s predictions cap- tured the behavior for both springs and followed very closely the discontinuities in the discharge time series. Under-/over-estimation of observed discharges for the two springs remained below 3 %, with the exception of a few local maxima where the predicted discharges diverged more strongly from observed values. Inclusion of temper- ature data did not add to the improvement of predictions.