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Uncertainty estimation for resource assessment-an application to coal

Mathematical Geology

By:
and
DOI: 10.1023/A:1007519703684

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Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a national assessment of coal resources. As part of that assessment, a geostatistical procedure has been developed to estimate the uncertainty of coal resources for the historical categories of geological assurance: measured, indicated, inferred, and hypothetical coal. Data consist of spatially clustered coal thickness measurements from coal beds and/or zones that cover, in some cases, several thousand square kilometers. Our procedure involved trend removal, an examination of spatial correlation, computation of a sample semivariogram, and fitting a semivariogram model. This model provided standard deviations for the uncertainty estimates. The number of sample points (drill holes) in each historical category also was estimated. Measurement error in the thickness of the coal bed/zone was obtained from the fitted model or supplied exogenously. From this information approximate estimates of uncertainty on the historical categories were computed. We illustrate the methodology using drill hole data from the Harmon coal bed located in southwestern North Dakota. The methodology will be applied to approximately 50 coal data sets.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Uncertainty estimation for resource assessment-an application to coal
Series title:
Mathematical Geology
DOI:
10.1023/A:1007519703684
Volume
32
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Mathematical Geology
First page:
521
Last page:
541
Number of Pages:
21