For federal and state land management agencies, mineral resource appraisal has evolved from value-based to outcome-based procedures wherein the consequences of resource development are compared with those of other management options. Complex systems modeling is proposed as a general framework in which to build models that can evaluate outcomes. Three frequently used methods of mineral resource appraisal (subjective probabilistic estimates, weights of evidence modeling, and fuzzy logic modeling) are discussed to obtain insight into methods of incorporating complexity into mineral resource appraisal models. Fuzzy logic and weights of evidence are most easily utilized in complex systems models. A fundamental product of new appraisals is the production of reusable, accessible databases and methodologies so that appraisals can easily be repeated with new or refined data. The data are representations of complex systems and must be so regarded if all of their information content is to be utilized. The proposed generalized model framework is applicable to mineral assessment and other geoscience problems. We begin with a (fuzzy) cognitive map using (+1,0,-1) values for the links and evaluate the map for various scenarios to obtain a ranking of the importance of various links. Fieldwork and modeling studies identify important links and help identify unanticipated links. Next, the links are given membership functions in accordance with the data. Finally, processes are associated with the links; ideally, the controlling physical and chemical events and equations are found for each link. After calibration and testing, this complex systems model is used for predictions under various scenarios.
Additional publication details
A Complex Systems Model Approach to Quantified Mineral Resource Appraisal