RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SAMPLE DESIGN AND GEOMETRIC ANISOTROPY IN THE PREPARATION OF THEMATIC MAPS OF CHEMICAL SOIL ATTRIBUTES
ABSTRACT Spatial variability depends on the sampling configuration and characteristics associated with the georeferenced phenomenon, such as geometric anisotropy. This study aimed to determine the influence of the sampling design on parameter estimation in an anisotropic geostatistical model and the spatial estimation of a georeferenced variable at unsampled locations. Datasets were simulated with geometric anisotropy, considering five values for the anisotropic ratio (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and three sampling designs: lattice, random and lattice plus close pairs. The simulation results were used as a reference to select anisotropic models to describe the spatial dependence structure in chemical soil properties. For each dataset (with either simulated or chemical soil properties), the values of the georeferenced variables at unsampled locations were estimated by kriging, considering estimated isotropic and anisotropic geostatistical models. The choice of the sampling design influenced the spatial estimation of the georeferenced variable and the quality of the estimation of the geostatistical anisotropic model. The incorporation of geometric anisotropy in the spatial estimation of simulated data sets and soil chemical properties produced differences in the spatial estimation and improved the level of detail of subregions in thematic maps.