Reconstruction of groundwater levels to impute missing values using singular and multichannel spectrum analysis: application to the Ardabil Plain, Iran
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Groundwater-level time series often have a substantial number of missing values which should be taken into consideration before using them for further analysis, particularly for numerical groundwater flow modelling applications. This study aims to comprehensively compare two data-driven models, singular spectrum analysis (SSA) and multichannel spectrum analysis (MSSA), to reconstruct groundwater-level time series and impute the missing values for 25 piezometric stations in Ardabil Plain, northwest Iran. The reconstructed groundwater-level time series are assessed against the complete observed groundwater time series, while the imputed values are appraised against the artificially created gap values. The results show that both SSA and MSSA demonstrate a solid competency in imputation and reconstruction of groundwater-level data. However, depending on the spatial correlation between the piezometers, and the most suitable probability distribution function (pdf) fitted to the time series of each piezometer, the performance may vary from piezometer to piezometer.