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The description, analysis and interpretation of spatial variability is one of the cornerstones of a geostatistical study. When analyzed and interpreted properly, the pattern of spatial variability can be used to plan further sampling programs, to improve estimates and to build geologically realistic models of rock, soil and fluid properties. This paper discusses the tools that geostatisticians use to study spatial variability. It focuses on two of the most common measures of spatial variability, the variogram and the correlogram, describes their appropriate uses, their strengths and their weaknesses. The interpretation and modelling of experimental measures of spatial variability are discussed and demonstrated with examples based on a hypothetical data set consisting of lead and arsenic measurements collected from a contaminated soil site.
Spatial variation, variogram, correlogram
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