A study was carried out to develop a vulnerability map for Barka region in the North Batina of Oman using DRASTIC vulnerability index method in GIS environment. DRASTIC layers were created using data from published reports and the seven DRASTIC layers were processed by the ArcGIS geographic information system. Finally, DRASTIC maps were created for 1995 and 2004 to understand the long-term changes in the vulnerability index. DRASTIC vulnerability maps were evaluated using groundwater quality data such as chemical and biological parameters. DRASTIC vulnerability maps of 1995 and 2004 indicate that the northern part of Barka is more vulnerable to pollution than southern part and the central part of Barka also shows high relative vulnerability which is mostly related to the high conductivity values. Moreover, the changes in water level due to high abstraction rate of groundwater reflect in the vulnerability maps and low vulnerability area is increased in the southern part during 2004 compared to 1995. Moreover, regional distribution maps of nitrate, chloride and total and fecal coliforms are well correlated with DRASTIC vulnerability maps. In contrast to this, even though DRASTIC method predicted the central part of the study region is highly vulnerable, both chemical and biological parameters show lower concentrations in this region compared to coastal belt, which is mainly due to agricultural and urban development. In Barka, urban development and agricultural activities are very high in coastal region compared to southern and central part of the study area. Hence, this study concluded that DRASTIC method is also applicable in coastal region having ubiquitous contamination sources.
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