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GeoMap Workshop

The second GeoMap Workshop: Geospatial Analysis of Compositional Data

Knowledge and valid interpretation of the spatial distribution of chemical elements in soils and water is required for a variety of purposes including geological and soil mapping, baseline quality documentation, mineral prospectivity, land and soil resource assessment and risk evaluation. In response to this, over the last decade there has been a focus on the generation of digital soil and sediment databases at a regional, national, transnational and continent scale. However, geochemical data have unique mathematical properties and should not be analyzed without consideration of its structure. Geochemical data are “compositions”; and by definition, must sum to a constant (e.g.100%) and therefore none of the components (such as elements, oxides, minerals, …) are free to vary independently. This special property of geochemical data can lead to erroneous results when standard data analytics methodologies are applied. This workshop follows the first GeoMap Workshop held in Olomouc, Czech Republic, June 2014 and will investigate the question of what the compositional nature of geochemical data means in regional geochemical mapping. The format of the workshop will comprise a series of presentations with invited speakers covering an introduction to the theory and the practice of spatial analysis of compositional data, software aspects and applied examples. The workshop will facilitate a forum for discussion on the challenges and the usefulness of compositional data analysis for regional geochemistry.

The main specific feature of the workshop will be discussions for concrete problem solving and team building. Specialists on Geochemistry, Geospatial Analysis, Geostatistics and Compositional Data Analysis are warmy invited to submit short abstracts (1 page) of their contributions to, specially if they pose non-solved problems (deadline 31 March 2018). The most relevant abstracts will become keynote lectures of the workshop, around which the other contributions will be structured in discussion sessions, following the very successful structure of the first GeoMap workshop, held in June 2014 in in Olomouc as well. The goal of the workshop is to produce a series of teams attacking the main unsolved problems of the geospatial analysis of compositional data with logratio techniques.

Participation in GeoMap includes an introductory course (Fr 31.08), 1.5 days of discussions (Fr 31.08-Sa 01.09), a short geological trip around Olomouc (Su 02.09), a closing course (Mo 03.09) and complimentary access to the geochemical sessions (Tu 04.09) of the Golden Anniversary Conference of the International Association of Mathematical Geosciences. People having potential contributions to the topic of compositional analysis of geochemical data are encouraged to fully participate in the IAMG Conference and submit their contributions to the satellite GeoMap session within the regular programme of the Conference.

Date:  Friday 31 August 2018 to Sunday 2 September 2018

Time: 9 am – 5 pm every day

Cost: 360 USD

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 March 2018


Introductory Course Outline (Friday 31) Geospatial analysis:

  • understanding the nature of geochemical data: principles, logratios and sense of single components
  • data pre-processing, imputation, levelling, outliers
  • mapping strategies: the sense of single element distribution maps, data-driven maps
  • geostatistical ideas: variogram modelling and cokriging
  • existing software

Closing Course  (Monday 3) Extracting, Visualizing and Interpreting Structure in Geochemical Data:

see Short Course 4 of the main program of IAMG


Workshop chairs:

Jennifer McKinley, a Chartered Geologist, is a Reader with Queen’s University Belfast, UK.  She is currently the President of the International Association of Mathematical Geoscientists.  Jennifer’s research has focused on the application of spatial analysis techniques, including geostatistics, compositional data analysis and Geographical Information Science (GIS), to soil geochemistry, environmental and criminal forensics, human health, slope instability, airborne geophysics and weathering studies. Interdisciplinary collaboration and strong partnership working with multiple stakeholders, underpins all of her research, culminating in more than 100 scientific articles and strong international associations.



Raimon Tolosana-Delgado is an engineering geologist and holds a PhD in environmental technology and physics, specialist in compositional data analysis and geostatistics, particularly applied to the Earth sciences. In the last 15 years, he has co-authored 40 papers in peer reviewed journals. Currently he is executive vice-president of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences, and works at the Department of Modelling and Valuation of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (Germany) doing research on mineral exploration models, geometallurgical ore characterisation and modeling, or minerals processing simulation and optimisation.




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