Mathematical Geology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 323–345 | Cite as

Variogram Fitting by Generalized Least Squares Using an Explicit Formula for the Covariance Structure

  • Marc G. Genton


In the context of spatial statistics, the classical variogram estimator proposed by Matheron can be written as a quadratic form of the observations. If data are Gaussian with constant mean, then the correlation between the classical variogram estimator at two different lags is a function of the spatial design matrix and the variance matrix. When data are independent with unidimensional and regular support, an explicit formula for this correlation is available. The same is true for a multidimensional and regular support as can be shown by using Kronecker products of matrices. As variogram fitting is a crucial stage for correct spatial prediction, it is proposed to use a generalized least squares method with an explicit formula for the covariance structure (GLSE). A good approximation of the covariance structure is achieved by taking account of the explicit formula for the correlation in the independent situation. Simulations are carried out with several types of underlying variograms, as well as with outliers in the data. Results show that this technique (GLSE), combined with a robust estimator of the variogram, improves the fit significantly.

spatial statistics scale estimation robustness dependent data correlation structure ordinary kriging 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc G. Genton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsSwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyLausanneSwitzerland

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