Modelling trends in groundwater levels by segmented regression with constraints
This paper provides a statistically unified method for modelling trends in groundwater levels for a national project that aims to predict areas at risk from salinity in 2020. It was necessary to characterize the trends in groundwater levels in thousands of boreholes that have been monitored by Agriculture Western Australia throughout the south-west of Western Australia over the last 10 years. The approach investigated in the present paper uses segmented regression with constraints when the number of change points is unknown. For each segment defined by change points, the trend can be described by a linear trend possibly superimposed on a periodic response. Four different types of change point are defined by constraints on the model parameters to cope with different patterns of change in groundwater levels. For a set of candidate change points provided by the user, a modified Akaike information criterion is used for model selection. Model parameters can be estimated by multiple linear regression. Some typical examples are presented to demonstrate the performance of the approach.
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