Accuracy analysis of GIS-based coal resource estimation

Westman, E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Little faith can be placed in a coal resource estimate without a clear understanding of the estimate's accuracy. Different types of coal resource estimates require different levels of accuracy. Prospecting surveys typically are done with widely spaced boreholes, while a much higher level of accuracy is required for mine design. Either way, a measure of the accuracy clearly indicates the level of confidence that can be placed in the results of the estimate. Geographic information systems (GIs) are becoming a commonly used tool for resource estimation because they not only provide a database management platform but also the graphical capabilities to visualize resource characteristics. interpolation methods used commonly in these resource studies do not typically provide a quantitative answer to the question: "How accurate is the estimate?" By comparing localized measurements at multiple locations to the interpolated thickness distribution used in a resource estimate, a quantitative analysis of accuracy can be obtained. The technique is demonstrated with a case study from Central Appalachia.
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