The histogram indicates that upuntil 1978, no paper existed thatlisted its focus as geostatistics andgeotechnical engineering. Over therest of the period, interest seemsto peak and fall a few times, andcurrently interest appears to be atanother low. Is there going to beanother peak or are we seeing theend of interest in geostatistics? Whyis geotechnical engineering losinginterest in geostatistics? Does itnot offer the profession signicantadvantages? These are just a few of the questions that beg to be asked from our simple analysis. We believe that the profession isat a crossroads with regards togeostatistics. If the profession isable to fully appreciate the power of the method and understand itsconcepts and tools, geotechnicalengineering will benettremendously. If the profession isunable to soon harness the power of geostatistics, application of themethod might again be shelved,at least for a while. We believe thatRocscience can contribute in a waythat helps ensure successful use of geostatistics in routine geotechnicalanalysis.
What is Geostatistics?
Geostatistics deals with spatial data,i.e. data for which each value isassociated with a location in space.In such analysis it is assumed thatthere is some connection betweenlocation and data value. Fromknown values at sampled points,geostatistical analysis can be usedto predict spatial distributionsof properties over large areas or volumes.To determine geotechnical andgeological conditions, such as thestratigraphy of soil or rock layersat a project site, boreholes aredrilled at some specied locations. Very often, and as expected, one nds that measurements fromboreholes near to each other tendto be more similar than those from widely separated boreholes.This observation forms the basisof the assumption in geostatisticsthat location has a relationship tomeasured properties.In what way does geostatisticsdiffer from conventional statistics?Statistics generally analyzes andinterprets the uncertainty causedby limited sampling. For example,a conventional statistical analysisof core samples from a siteinvestigation program might showthat measured cohesion values
If the profession is unable to soon harness the power of geostatistics,application of the method might again be shelved.