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Empirical variogram for achieving the best valid variogram

  • Mahdi, Esam (Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics, Qatar University) ;
  • Abuzaid, Ali H. (Department of Mathematics, Al-Azhar University) ;
  • Atta, Abdu M.A. (Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics, Qatar University)
  • Received : 2020.05.16
  • Accepted : 2020.08.17
  • Published : 2020.09.30

Abstract

Modeling the statistical autocorrelations in spatial data is often achieved through the estimation of the variograms, where the selection of the appropriate valid variogram model, especially for small samples, is crucial for achieving precise spatial prediction results from kriging interpolations. To estimate such a variogram, we traditionally start by computing the empirical variogram (traditional Matheron or robust Cressie-Hawkins or kernel-based nonparametric approaches). In this article, we conduct numerical studies comparing the performance of these empirical variograms. In most situations, the nonparametric empirical variable nearest-neighbor (VNN) showed better performance than its competitors (Matheron, Cressie-Hawkins, and Nadaraya-Watson). The analysis of the spatial groundwater dataset used in this article suggests that the wave variogram model, with hole effect structure, fitted to the empirical VNN variogram is the most appropriate choice. This selected variogram is used with the ordinary kriging model to produce the predicted pollution map of the nitrate concentrations in groundwater dataset.

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