Application of geostatistical methods for mapping groundwater phosphate construction in Eyvan plain, Ilam Province, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environment, School of Basic Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran

2 Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of Environment, School of Basic Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan Branch, Hamadan, Iran


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the spatial changes of groundwater phosphate concentrations using geostatistical methods based on data from 10 groundwater wells. One of the conventional tools in decision making on the groundwater management is geostatistical method. To evaluate the spatial changes of phosphate concentrations in groundwater, the universal kriging method with cross-validation was used for mapping and estimating groundwater phosphate concentrations in Eyvan Plain, Iran. Phosphate concentration followed a log-normal distribution and demonstrated a moderate spatial dependence according to the nugget ratio (60%). The experimental variogram of groundwater phosphate concentration was best-fitted by a spherical model. Cross-validation errors were within an acceptable level. According to the spatial distribution map, phosphate pollution in the groundwater occurred mostly in the west of the plain because of the phosphate discharge from the industrial effluents.


1. Piccini C, Marchetti A, Farina R, Francaviglia R. Application of indicator kriging to evaluate the probability of exceeding nitrate contamination thresholds. Int J Environ Res 2012; 6(4): 853-62.
2. Coetzee MA, Roux-Van MM, Badenhorst J. The effect of hydraulic loading rates on nitrogen removal by using a biological filter proposed for ventilated improved pit latrines. Int J Environ Res 2011; 5(1): 119-26.
3. Hudak PF. Nitrate and chloride concentrations in groundwater beneath a portion of the trinity group outcrop zone, Texas. Int J Environ Res 2012; 6(3): 663-8.
4. Li H, Wang Y, Shi LQ, Mi J, Song D, Pan XJ. Distribution and fractions of phosphorus and nitrogen in surface sediments from dianchi lake, China. Int J Environ Res 2012; 6(1): 195-208.
5. Domagalski JL, Johnson H. Phosphorus and groundwater: establishing links between agricultural use and transport to streams. New Jersey, NJ: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3004; 2012.
6. Jarvis SC. Nitrogen dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystem. In: Ball AS, Wilson WS, Hinton R, Editors. Managing risks of nitrates to humans and the environment. Sawston, Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing; 1999.
7. Harrison RM. Pollution: causes, effects, and control. London, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry; 1990.
8. McLay CD, Dragten R, Sparling G, Selvarajah N. Predicting groundwater nitrate concentrations in a region of mixed agricultural land use: a comparison of three approaches. Environ Pollut 2001; 115(2): 191-204.
9. Ghaderi AA, Abduli MA, Karbassi AR, Nasrabadi T, Khajeh M. Evaluating the effects of fertilizers on bioavailable metallic pollution of soils, case study of Sistan farms, Iran. Int J Environ Res 2012; 6(2): 565-70.
10. Schullehner J, Hansen B, Sigsgaard T. Nitrate in drinking water. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Medical Geology. MedGeo; 2015 Jul 26 Aug 1; Aveiro, Portugal.
11. Barbieri S. Direttiva Nitrati: aspetti della sua applicazione in Friuli Venezia Giulia [Online]. [cited 2016]; Available from: URL:
12. Poshtmasari HK, Tahmasebi Sarvestani Z, Kamkar B, Shataei S, Sadeghi S. Comparison of interpolation methods for estimatingbpH and EC in agricultural fields of Golestan province (north of Iran). Intl J Agri Crop Sci 2012; 4(4): 157-67.
13. Gundogdu KS, Guney I. Spatial analyses of groundwater levels using universal kriging. J Earth Syst Sci 2007; 116(1): 49-55.
14. Kamel Boulos MN. Towards evidence-based, GIS-driven national spatial health information infrastructure and surveillance services in the United Kingdom. Int J Health Geogr 2004; 3: 1.
15. Diodato N, Ceccarelli M. Interpolation processes using multivariate geostatistics for mapping of climatological precipitation mean in the Sannio Mountains (southern Italy). Earth Surface Process, Landforms 2005; 30(3): 259-68.
16. Journel AG. Mining geostatistics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Academic; 1978.
17. Isaaks EH, Srivastava RM. Applied geostatistics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 1989.
18. Leuangthong O, McLennan JA, Deutsch CV. Minimum acceptance criteria for geostatistical realizations. Natural Resources Research 2004; 13(3): 131-41.
19. Uyan M, Cay T. Spatial analyses of groundwater level differences using geostatistical modeling. Environ Ecol Stat 2013; 20(4): 633-46.
20. Theodossiou N, Latinopoulos P. Evaluation and optimization of groundwater observation networks using the kriging methodology. Environ Model Softw 2006; 22(7): 991-1000.
21. Chappell A, Heritage GL, Fuller LC, Large AR, Milan DJ. Geostatistical analysis of ground-survey elevation data to elucidate spatial and temporal river channel change. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 2003; 28(4): 349-70.
22. Bartram J, Ballance R. Water quality monitoring: a practical guide to the design and implementation of freshwater quality studies and monitoring programmes. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 1996.
23. National Public Library. Q–Q PLOT. Honolulu, HI: World Heritage Encyclopedia; 2016.
24. Maroju S. Evaluation of Five GIS Based Interpolation Techniques for Estimating the Radon Concentration for Unmeasured Zip Codes in the State of Ohio [MSc Thesis]. Ohio, Ottawa: The University of Toledo; 2007.
25. Motaghian H, Mohammadi J, Karimi A. Catchment-scale spatial variability analysis of soil hydro-physical properties in a semi-arid region of Iran. Desert (Biaban) 2008; 13(2): 155-65.
26. Zhang H, Zhuang S, Qian H, Wang F, Ji H. Spatial variability of the topsoil organic carbon in the Moso bamboo forests of southern China in association with soil properties. PLoS One 2015; 10(3): e0119175.
27. Moosavi Fazl SH, Alizadeh A, Ghahraman B. Application of Geostatistical Methods for determining nitrate concentrations in Groundwater (case study of Mashhad plain, Iran). Int J Agricul Crop Sci 2016; 5(4): 318-28.
28. Uyan M, Cay T. Geostatistical methods for mapping groundwater nitrate concentrations. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Cartography and GIS; 2010 Jun15-20; Nessebar, Bulgaria.
29. Kumar M, Puri A. A review of permissible limits of drinking water. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2012; 16(1): 40-4.