Abstract It is a matter of common experience that ore values often do not follow the normal (or lognormal) distributions assumed for them, but, instead, follow some other heavier-tailed distribution. In this paper we discuss the robust estimation of the variogram when the distribution is normal-like in the central region but heavier than normal in the tails. It is shown that the use of a fourth-root transformation with or without the use of M-estimation yields stable robust estimates of the variogram.
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