Standard Historical Last Updated: Jul 10, 2019 Track Document
ASTM D8215-19

Standard Practice for Statistical Modeling of Uncertainty in Assessment of In-place Coal Resources

Standard Practice for Statistical Modeling of Uncertainty in Assessment of In-place Coal Resources D8215-19 ASTM|D8215-19|en-US Standard Practice for Statistical Modeling of Uncertainty in Assessment of In-place Coal Resources Standard new BOS Vol. 05.06 Committee D05
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Significance and Use

5.1 Traditional methods for expressing geological uncertainty consist of preparing reliability categories based simply on the distance between drill hole data points, such as the one described by Wood et al. (5) that uses only the drill holes within the coal bed. A major drawback of distance methods is their weak to null association with estimation errors. This practice provides a methodology for effectively assessing the uncertainty in coal resource estimates utilizing stochastic simulation. In determining uncertainty for any coal assessment, stochastic simulation enables consideration of other important factors and information beyond the geometry of drill hole locations, both in and out of the coal bed, including: non-depositional channels, depth of weathering, complexity of seam boundaries, coal seam subcrop projections, and varying coal bed geology for different seams due to fluctuating peat depositional environments.

5.2 For multi-seam deposits, uncertainty can be expressed on an individual seam basis as well as an aggregated uncertainty for an entire coal deposit.

5.3 The uncertainty is expressed directly in tons of coal. Additionally, this practice allows the statistical analysis to be presented according to widely-accepted conventions, such as percentiles and confidence intervals, say, that there is a 90 % probability that the actual tonnage in place is 346 million tons of coal ± 31.7 million tons of coal.

5.4 The results of an uncertainty determination can provide important input into an overall risk analysis assessing the commercial feasibility of a coal deposit.

5.5 A company may rank coal resources per block (cell) based on the degree of uncertainty.


1.1 This practice covers a procedure for quantitatively determining in-place tonnage uncertainty in a coal resource assessment. The practice uses a database on coal occurrence and applies geostatistical methods to model the uncertainty associated with a tonnage estimated for one or more coal seams. The practice includes instruction for the preparation of results in graphical form.

1.2 This document does not include a detailed presentation of the basic theory behind the formulation of the standard, which can be found in numerous publications, with a selection being given in the references (1-3).2

1.3 This practice should be used in conjunction with professional judgment of the many unique aspects of a coal deposit.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 05.06
Developed by Subcommittee: D05.07
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.1520/D8215-19
ICS Code: 35.240.70; 73.020