Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment in Shallow Aquifer in Linfen Basin, Shanxi Province, China Using DRASTIC Model

  •  Mamadou SAMAKE    
  •  Zhonghua Tang    
  •  Win HLAING    
  •  Innocent MBUE    
  •  Kanyamanda Kasereka    
  •  Waheed O. Balogun    


Groundwater pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems in the world. Human activities, e.g. industrial, agricultural and household represent a real threat for groundwater quality. In areas where Groundwater constitutes the main drinking water resources, its vulnerability assessment, to delineate areas that are more susceptible to contamination has become an important element for water resource management and land use planning. Hence, maps of groundwater vulnerability to pollution are becoming more in demand because this essential resource for life represents the main source of drinking water in many parts of the world and particularly in northern China where there is insufficient surface water.

This study used the ArcGIS 9.2 software and geographical information system (GIS) techniques to apply an EPA model for determining intrinsic vulnerability of groundwater to pollution in Linfen Basin, Shanxi Province, China.  The model is called DRASTIC, representing hydrogeological parameters such as Depth to Aquifer, Net Recharge, Aquifer Media, Soil Media, Topography, Impact of vadose Zones, and Hydraulic Conductivity. The DRASTIC model uses environmental parameters to characterize the hydrogeological setting of any area and to evaluate the aquifer vulnerability. The DRASTIC scores obtained from the model vary from 59 to 147, where the higher value implies the relative greater vulnerability. These values were reclassified into three classes: very low, low and moderate vulnerable zones. The moderate vulnerability zones of Linfen Basin are located in the north and southeastern part of the basin. The moderate vulnerable zones cover around 16.38% of the study area. Huozhou City in the north, Yicheng County, Qu Wo County in the south east are concerned by moderate vulnerability zones.

The   very low vulnerable zones are well distributed and are mainly located in the middle and south parts of the basin. Some very low vulnerable zones can also be seen in the north east and extreme east parts. Very low vulnerable zones cover about 40.13% of the study area. The remaining parts of the Linfen basin are under low vulnerable zones (43.49%) which are located in the west and Middle West parts of the region.

The results of this study can be used to determine where communities should undertake aggressive protection of the groundwater.  Regional development planners will benefit from knowledge of local sensitive aquifers.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.