Forecasting surface water level fluctuations of lake van by artificial neural networks

Altunkaynak A.

WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, vol.21, no.2, pp.399-408, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11269-006-9022-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.399-408
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Lake Van in eastern Turkey has been subject to water level rise during the last decade and, consequently, the low-lying areas along the shore are inundated, giving problems to local administrators, governmental officials, irrigation activities and to people's property. Therefore, forecasting water levels of the Lake has started to attract the attention of the researchers in the country. An attempt has been made to use artificial neural networks (ANN) for modeling the temporal change water levels of Lake Van. A back-propagation algorithm is used for training. The study indicated that neural networks can successfully model the complex relationship between the rainfall and consecutive water levels. Three different cases were considered with the network trained for different arrangements of input nodes, such as current and antecedent lake levels, rainfall amounts. All of the three models yields relatively close results to each other. The neural network model is simpler and more reliable than the conventional methods such as autoregressive (AR), moving average (MA), and autoregressive moving average with exogenous input (ARMAX) models. It is shown that the relative errors for these two different models, are below 10% which is acceptable for engineering studies. In this study, dynamic changes of the lake level are evaluated. In contrast to classical methods, ANNs do not require strict assumptions such as linearity, normality, homoscadacity etc.