Mathematical Geosciences

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 735–740 | Cite as

Variogram or Semivariogram? Variance or Semivariance? Allan Variance or Introducing a New Term?

  • Martin Bachmaier
  • Matthias Backes
Short Note


There is a confusing situation in geostatistical literature: Some authors write variogram, and some authors write semivariogram. Based on a formula for the empirical variance that relates to pairwise differences, it is shown that the values depicted in a variogram are entire variances of observations at a given spatial separation (lag). Therefore, they should not be called semivariances, and the term semivariogram should also be avoided. To name a variogram value, we suggest the use of the term gammavariance instead of the misleading semivariance.


Structure function Variogram Semivariogram Variance Semivariance Allan variance Gammavariance Spatial variability 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Systems EngineeringTechnische Universität MünchenFreising-WeihenstephanGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Kartographie und GeoinformationRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonnGermany

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