Regional Mineral- and Fuel-Resource Forecasting — A Major Challenge and Opportunity for Mathematical Geologists

  • John W. Harbaugh
Part of the Computer Applications in the Earth Sciences book series (CAES)


Mathematical geologists need to exert a stronger influence on government policy with regard to forecasts of mineral- and energy-resource commodities. The problems of forecasting inherently are statistical, and they should be based on geological, geophysical, and mineralproduction data insofar as possible. Thus, the problems are both geological and statistical, or in other words, strong “geostatistical”.

There are three main categories of problems in applying and using geostatistical methods in resource forecasts, namely (1) problems of policy, (2) problems of philosophy, and (3) problems of direction. The problems of policy, for example, are centered principally on the failure of governmental policy makers to incorporate appropriately statistical undertainty in energy-resource policies. If effective, long-term forecasts of the world’s energy and other mineral resources are to be made, geomathematicians must take a leading role. Three major tasks lie ahead of them, namely: (1) prepare comprehensive inventories of present resources that incorporate geological considerations and which, in turn, may be analyzed from a statistical standpoint; (b) develop formal optimization methods to guide exploration; and (c) promote policies that will make available publicly much of the exploration data that now are “frozen” because they are kept confidential by industry and government.


Coal Seam Regional Mineral Resource Inventory Mathematical Geologist Seismic Prospect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Harbaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityUSA

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