The rock quality designation is an important input for the analysis and design of rock structures as reliable spatial modeling of the rock quality designation (RQD) can assist in designing and planning mines more efficiently. The aim of this paper is to model the spatial distribution of the RQD using the multi-Gaussian kriging approach as an alternative to the non-linear geostatistical technique which has shown some limitations. To this end, 470 RQD datasets were collected from 9 boreholes pertaining to the Gazestan ore deposit in Iran. The datasets were declustered then transformed into Gaussian distribution. To ensure the model spatial continuity, variogram analysis was first performed. The elevation 150 m with a grid of 5 m × 5 m × 5 m was selected to illustrate the methodology. Surface maps showing the RQD classes (very poor, poor, fair, good, and very good) with their associated probability were established. A cross-validation method was used to check the obtained model. The validation results indicated good prediction of the local variability. In addition, the associated uncertainty was quantified on the basis of the conditional distributions and the accuracy plot agreed with the overall results. It is concluded that the proposed model could be used to produce a reliable RQD map.
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