Geostatistics is a branch of statistics that studies and forecasts the values of spatial or spatiotemporal events. Within the analyses, it incorporates the spatial and in certain cases temporal coordinates of the data.
Many geostatistical tools were created as a practical way to describe spatial patterns and interpolate values for locations where samples were not collected. Since then, those tools and methods have evolved to provide not only interpolated values, but also measures of uncertainty for those values.
Uncertainty measurement is critical for making informed decisions because it provides information on the possible values (outcomes) for each location rather than just one interpolated value.
Geostatistical analysis has also progressed from univariate to multivariate and now includes mechanisms for incorporating secondary datasets that supplement a primary variable of interest, allowing for the development of more accurate interpolation and uncertainty models.
Geostatistics is widely used in many branches of science and engineering, including:
1. The mining industry
Geostatistics is used in several aspects of a project, first to quantify mineral resources and assess the project’s economic feasibility, and then on a daily basis to determine which material is routed to the plant and which is waste, using updated information as it becomes available.
Include temperature, rainfall, and other variables in your forecast (such as acid rain).
Recently, several applications of geostatistics in the field of public health have emerged, such as the prediction of environmental contaminant levels and their relationship to cancer incidence rates.
Focus on mapping soil nutrient levels (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and so on) and other indicators (such as electrical conductivity) in order to study their relationships to crop yield and prescribe precise fertilizer amounts for each location in the field.
4. Environmental sciences
Geostatistics is used to estimate pollutant levels in order to determine whether they pose a threat to the environment or human health and thus require remediation.