Mathematical Geology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 507–534

Teacher's Aide Variogram Interpretation and Modeling

  • Emmanuel Gringarten
  • Clayton V. Deutsch

DOI: 10.1023/A:1011093014141

Cite this article as:
Gringarten, E. & Deutsch, C.V. Mathematical Geology (2001) 33: 507. doi:10.1023/A:1011093014141


The variogram is a critical input to geostatistical studies: (1) it is a tool to investigate and quantify the spatial variability of the phenomenon under study, and (2) most geostatistical estimation or simulation algorithms require an analytical variogram model, which they will reproduce with statistical fluctuations. In the construction of numerical models, the variogram reflects some of our understanding of the geometry and continuity of the variable, and can have a very important impact on predictions from such numerical models. The principles of variogram modeling are developed and illustrated with a number of practical examples. A three-dimensional interpretation of the variogram is necessary to fully describe geologic continuity. Directional continuity must be described simultaneously to be consistent with principles of geological deposition and for a legitimate measure of spatial variability for geostatistical modeling algorithms. Interpretation principles are discussed in detail. Variograms are modeled with particular functions for reasons of mathematical consistency. Used correctly, such variogram models account for the experimental data, geological interpretation, and analogue information. The steps in this essential data integration exercise are described in detail through the introduction of a rigorous methodology.

kriging stochastic simulation covariance zonal and geometric anisotropy 

Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel Gringarten
    • 1
  • Clayton V. Deutsch
    • 2
  1. 1.Landmark Graphics Corp.AustinUSA
  2. 2.T-Surf Corp.AustinUSA