Mathematical Geology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 113–134

# Optimized Sample Schemes for Geostatistical Surveys

Article

## Abstract

Sample schemes used in geostatistical surveys must be suitable for both variogram estimation and kriging. Previously schemes have been optimized for one of these steps in isolation. Ordinary kriging generally requires the sampling locations to be evenly dispersed over the region. Variogram estimation requires a more irregular pattern of sampling locations since comparisons must be made between measurements separated by all lags up to and beyond the range of spatial correlation. Previous studies have not considered how to combine these optimized schemes into a single survey and how to decide what proportion of sampling effort should be devoted to variogram estimation and what proportion devoted to kriging

An expression for the total error in a geostatistical survey accounting for uncertainty due to both ordinary kriging and variogram uncertainty is derived. In the same manner as the kriging variance, this expression is a function of the variogram but not of the sampled response data. If a particular variogram is assumed the total error in a geostatistical survey may be estimated prior to sampling. We can therefore design an optimal sample scheme for the combined processes of variogram estimation and ordinary kriging by minimizing this expression. The minimization is achieved by spatial simulated annealing. The resulting sample schemes ensure that the region is fairly evenly covered but include some close pairs to analyse the spatial correlation over short distances. The form of these optimal sample schemes is sensitive to the assumed variogram. Therefore a Bayesian approach is adopted where, rather than assuming a single variogram, we minimize the expected total error over a distribution of plausible variograms. This is computationally expensive so a strategy is suggested to reduce the number of computations required

### Key Words

variogram ordinary kriging maximum likelihood

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