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Regionalized favorability theory for information synthesis in mineral exploration

Abstract

This paper presents a regionalized method for the estimation of a favorability function through generalization of all relevant variables (explanatory and target) into random functions. The new method allows the use of cross-covariance functions in addition to ordinary covariances for extracting spatial joint information, which is virtually overlooked in the conventional analyses. The optimal weights for a favorability equation are derived from solving a generalized eigen-system established by the maximization of covariances between a favorability function and the principal components of a set of pre-selected target variables. Various correlation coefficients may be computed to assist in interpretation of the favorability estimates. Both favorability functions and correlation coefficients may be estimated for a point or a block. The regionalized favorability theory can be compared to cokriging in that both use the sample-sample covariances to account for the sample-sample relations and the point-sample covariances to account for the point-sample configurations. The new technique is demonstrated on a test case study, which involves the integration of geochemical, airborne-geophysical, and structural data sets for the target selection of hydrothermal gold-silver deposits.

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Pan, G. Regionalized favorability theory for information synthesis in mineral exploration. Math Geol 25, 603–631 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00890248

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Key words

  • regionalized favorability theory
  • cross-variogram
  • information synthesis
  • exploration target
  • airborne geophysics
  • cokriging