Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 77–90 | Cite as

The application of geostatistics in grain size trend analysis: A case study of eastern Beibu Gulf

  • Fei Ma
  • Yaping WangEmail author
  • Yan Li
  • Changjiang Ye
  • Zhiwei Xu
  • Fan Zhang


There are 71 surface sediment samples collected from the eastern Beibu Gulf. The moment parameters (i.e. mean size, sorting and skewness) were obtained after applying grain size analysis. The geostatistical analysis was then applied to study the spatial autocorrelation for these parameters; while range, a parameter in the semivariogram that meters the scale of spatial autocorrelation, was estimated. The results indicated that the range for sorting coefficient was physically meaningful. The trend vectors calculated from grain size trend analysis model were consistent with the annual ocean circulation patterns and sediment transport rates according to previous studies. Therefore the range derived from the semivariogram of mean size can be used as the characteristic distance in the grain size trend analysis, which may remove the bias caused by the traditional way of basing on experiences or testing methods to get the characteristic distance. Hence the results from geostatistical analysis can also offer useful information for the determination of sediment sampling density in the future field work.


geostatistical method semivariogram grain size trend analysis sediment transport Beibu Gulf 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Ma
    • 1
  • Yaping Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yan Li
    • 3
  • Changjiang Ye
    • 1
  • Zhiwei Xu
    • 1
  • Fan Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geographic and Oceanographic ScienceNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Coast and Island DevelopmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Joint Key Laboratory of Coastal Study (XMU & FJIO)Xiamen UniversityXiamenChina

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