predict.gstat: Multivariable Geostatistical Prediction and Simulation

predictR Documentation

Multivariable Geostatistical Prediction and Simulation


The function provides the following prediction methods: simple, ordinary, and universal kriging, simple, ordinary, and universal cokriging, point- or block-kriging, and conditional simulation equivalents for each of the kriging methods.


## S3 method for class 'gstat'
predict(object, newdata, block = numeric(0), nsim = 0, 
	indicators = FALSE, BLUE = FALSE, debug.level = 1, mask, 
	na.action = na.pass, sps.args = list(n = 500, type = "regular",
	offset = c(.5, .5)), ...)



object of class gstat, see gstat and krige


data frame with prediction/simulation locations; should contain columns with the independent variables (if present) and the coordinates with names as defined in locations; or: polygons, see below


block size; a vector with 1, 2 or 3 values containing the size of a rectangular in x-, y- and z-dimension respectively (0 if not set), or a data frame with 1, 2 or 3 columns, containing the points that discretize the block in the x-, y- and z-dimension to define irregular blocks relative to (0,0) or (0,0,0)—see also the details section below. By default, predictions or simulations refer to the support of the data values.


integer; if set to a non-zero value, conditional simulation is used instead of kriging interpolation. For this, sequential Gaussian or indicator simulation is used (depending on the value of indicators), following a single random path through the data.


logical; only relevant if nsim is non-zero; if TRUE, use indicator simulation, else use Gaussian simulation


logical; if TRUE return the BLUE trend estimates only, if FALSE return the BLUP predictions (kriging)


integer; set gstat internal debug level, see below for useful values. If set to -1 (or any negative value), a progress counter is printed


not supported anymore – use na.action; logical or numerical vector; pattern with valid values in newdata (marked as TRUE, non-zero, or non-NA); if mask is specified, the returned data frame will have the same number and order of rows in newdata, and masked rows will be filled with NA's.


function determining what should be done with missing values in 'newdata'. The default is to predict 'NA'. Missing values in coordinates and predictors are both dealt with.


when newdata is of class SpatialPolygons or SpatialPolygonsDataFrame this argument list gets passed to spsample to control the discretizing of polygons


ignored (but necessary for the S3 generic/method consistency)


When a non-stationary (i.e., non-constant) mean is used, both for simulation and prediction purposes the variogram model defined should be that of the residual process, not that of the raw observations.

For irregular block kriging, coordinates should discretize the area relative to (0), (0,0) or (0,0,0); the coordinates in newdata should give the centroids around which the block should be located. So, suppose the block is discretized by points (3,3) (3,5) (5,5) and (5,3), we should pass point (4,4) in newdata and pass points (-1,-1) (-1,1) (1,1) (1,-1) to the block argument. Although passing the uncentered block and (0,0) as newdata may work for global neighbourhoods, neighbourhood selection is always done relative to the centroid values in newdata.

If newdata is of class SpatialPolygons or SpatialPolygonsDataFrame, then the block average for each of the polygons or polygon sets is calculated, using spsample to discretize the polygon(s). Argument sps.args controls the parameters used for spsample. The "location" with respect to which neighbourhood selection is done is for each polygon the SpatialPolygons polygon label point; if you use local neighbourhoods you should check out where these points are—it may be well outside the polygon itself.

The algorithm used by gstat for simulation random fields is the sequential simulation algorithm. This algorithm scales well to large or very large fields (e.g., more than $10^6$ nodes). Its power lies in using only data and simulated values in a local neighbourhood to approximate the conditional distribution at that location, see nmax in krige and gstat. The larger nmax, the better the approximation, the smaller nmax, the faster the simulation process. For selecting the nearest nmax data or previously simulated points, gstat uses a bucket PR quadtree neighbourhood search algorithm; see the reference below.

For sequential Gaussian or indicator simulations, a random path through the simulation locations is taken, which is usually done for sequential simulations. The reason for this is that the local approximation of the conditional distribution, using only the nmax neareast observed (or simulated) values may cause spurious correlations when a regular path would be followed. Following a single path through the locations, gstat reuses the expensive results (neighbourhood selection and solution to the kriging equations) for each of the subsequent simulations when multiple realisations are requested. You may expect a considerable speed gain in simulating 1000 fields in a single call to predict, compared to 1000 calls, each for simulating a single field.

The random number generator used for generating simulations is the native random number generator of the environment (R, S); fixing randomness by setting the random number seed with set.seed() works.

When mean coefficient are not supplied, they are generated as well from their conditional distribution (assuming multivariate normal, using the generalized least squares BLUE estimate and its estimation covariance); for a reference to the algorithm used see Abrahamsen and Benth, Math. Geol. 33(6), page 742 and leave out all constraints.

Memory requirements for sequential simulation: let n be the product of the number of variables, the number of simulation locations, and the number of simulations required in a single call. the gstat C function gstat_predict requires a table of size n * 12 bytes to pass the simulations back to R, before it can free n * 4 bytes. Hopefully, R does not have to duplicate the remaining n * 8 bytes when the coordinates are added as columns, and when the resulting matrix is coerced to a data.frame.

Useful values for debug.level: 0: suppres any output except warning and error messages; 1: normal output (default): short data report, program action and mode, program progress in %, total execution time; 2: print the value of all global variables, all files read and written, and include source file name and line number in error messages; 4: print OLS and WLS fit diagnostics; 8: print all data after reading them; 16: print the neighbourhood selection for each prediction location; 32: print (generalised) covariance matrices, design matrices, solutions, kriging weights, etc.; 64: print variogram fit diagnostics (number of iterations and variogram model in each iteration step) and order relation violations (indicator kriging values before and after order relation correction); 512: print block (or area) discretization data for each prediction location. To combine settings, sum their respective values. Negative values for debug.level are equal to positive, but cause the progress counter to work.

For data with longitude/latitude coordinates (checked by is.projected), gstat uses great circle distances in km to compute spatial distances. The user should make sure that the semivariogram model used is positive definite on a sphere.


a data frame containing the coordinates of newdata, and columns of prediction and prediction variance (in case of kriging) or the columns of the conditional Gaussian or indicator simulations


Edzer Pebesma


N.A.C. Cressie, 1993, Statistics for Spatial Data, Wiley.

Pebesma, E.J., 2004. Multivariable geostatistics in S: the gstat package. Computers and Geosciences, 30: 683-691.

See Also

gstat, krige


# generate 5 conditional simulations
coordinates(meuse) = ~x+y
v <- variogram(log(zinc)~1, meuse)
m <- fit.variogram(v, vgm(1, "Sph", 300, 1))
plot(v, model = m)
gridded(meuse.grid) = ~x+y
sim <- krige(formula = log(zinc)~1, meuse, meuse.grid, model = m, 
	nmax = 10, beta = 5.9, nsim = 5) # for speed -- 10 is too small!!
# show all 5 simulation

# calculate generalised least squares residuals w.r.t. constant trend:
g <- gstat(NULL, "log.zinc", log(zinc)~1, meuse, model = m)
blue0 <- predict(g, newdata = meuse, BLUE = TRUE)
blue0$blue.res <- log(meuse$zinc) - blue0$log.zinc.pred
bubble(blue0, zcol = "blue.res", main = "GLS residuals w.r.t. constant")

# calculate generalised least squares residuals w.r.t. linear trend:
m <- fit.variogram(variogram(log(zinc)~sqrt(dist.m), meuse), 
	vgm(1, "Sph", 300, 1))
g <- gstat(NULL, "log.zinc", log(zinc)~sqrt(dist.m), meuse, model = m)
blue1 <- predict(g, meuse, BLUE = TRUE)
blue1$blue.res <- log(meuse$zinc) - blue1$log.zinc.pred
bubble(blue1, zcol = "blue.res", 
	main = "GLS residuals w.r.t. linear trend")

# unconditional simulation on a 100 x 100 grid
xy <- expand.grid(1:100, 1:100)
names(xy) <- c("x","y")
gridded(xy) = ~x+y
g.dummy <- gstat(formula = z~1, dummy = TRUE, beta = 0,
	model = vgm(1,"Exp",15), nmax = 10) # for speed -- 10 is too small!!
yy <- predict(g.dummy, xy, nsim = 4)
# show one realisation:
# show all four:

gstat documentation built on Oct. 19, 2022, 5:28 p.m.