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Declustering experimental variograms by global estimation with fourth order moments

Rezvandehy, Mehdi, Deutsch, Clayton V.
Stochastic environmental research and risk assessment 2018 v.32 no.1 pp. 261-277
covariance, geostatistics, kriging, uncertainty
The variogram is a key parameter for geostatistical estimation and simulation. Preferential sampling may bias the spatial structure and often leads to noisy and unreliable variograms. A novel technique is proposed to weight variogram pairs in order to compensate for preferential or clustered sampling . Weighting the variogram pairs by global kriging of the quadratic differences between the tail and head values gives each pair the appropriate weight, removes noise and minimizes artifacts in the experimental variogram. Moreover, variogram uncertainty could be computed by this technique. The required covariance between the pairs going into variogram calculation, is a fourth order covariance that must be calculated by second order moments. This introduces some circularity in the calculation whereby an initial variogram must be assumed before calculating how the pairs should be weighted for the experimental variogram. The methodology is assessed by synthetic and realistic examples. For synthetic example, a comparison between the traditional and declustered variograms shows that the declustered variograms are better estimates of the true underlying variograms. The realistic example also shows that the declustered sample variogram is closer to the true variogram.