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Civil Engineering Seminar
13 October 2006
GEOSTATISTICS:WHAT IS IT AND WHAT’S IT
Donald E. Myers
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics
Emeritus Joint Professor of Hydrology
Member of Committee on Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
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I will be teaching Geostatistics next semester, Mathematics/Geography
574, TTH 12:30-1:45
WHAT IS GEOSTATISTICS?
Geostatistics is concerned with spatial data and uncertainty
Each data value is associated with a location
Each data value/location has a support
Changing the support can be useful but also cause problems
The data locations need not be on a regular pattern.
Spatial data is often expensive to collect and thus there usually isn’t
enough of it.
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Collecting it may alter the environment, e.g drilling wells or boreholes
Uncertainty can occur or appear in a problem/application in at least
two ways: (1) something has not yet occurred and might occur in
different ways, (2) lack of knowledge, i.e., data. Geostatistics is more
concerned with the latter than with the former.
Some examples of spatial data
Water table/aquifer properties
Depth to groundwater (head)
Concentrations of various natural substances in the subsurface
In an aquifer
In the soil
Weather/climate characteristics (could be spatial-temporal as well)
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Components of wind direction
An Important Characteristic Commonly Observed for Spatial Data
If two locations are close together the values are more “similar” than
if the locations are far apart.
A key question of course is, what do we m