Spatially continuous data analysis and modelling

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Abstract

In the previous chapter, we explored techniques to analyse data collected on a lattice. In this chapter, we will consider techniques to model continuous spatial data. The term continuous does not mean that the variable of interest is continuous, but merely that the variable can be measured in any location in the study area. Such continuously distributed variables are widely used in ecology and geoscience. Examples are relief elevation and bathymetry, temperature, moisture, soil nutrients, and subsurface geology. Spatially continuous data are often referred to as geostatistical data (Bailey and Gatrell 1995). The set of statistical techniques that can be used for analysing and modelling this type of data is called geostatistics.