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Open AccessArticle

Accuracy and Effort of Interpolation and Sampling: Can GIS Help Lower Field Costs?

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, 4130 Adventure Trail, Rapid City, SD 57702, USA
Northwest Missouri State University, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Maryville, MO 64468, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2014, 3(4), 1317-1333;
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Analysis for Environmental Applications)
PDF [2214 KB, uploaded 5 December 2014]


Sedimentation is a problem for all reservoirs in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Before working on sediment removal, a survey on the extent and distribution of the sediment is needed. Two sample lakes were used to determine which of three interpolation methods gave the most accurate volume results. A secondary goal was to see if fewer samples could be taken while still providing similar results. The smaller samples would mean less field time and thus lower costs. Subsamples of 50%, 33% and 25% were taken from the total samples and evaluated for the lowest Root Mean Squared Error values. Throughout the trials, the larger sample sizes generally showed better accuracy than smaller samples. Graphing the sediment volume estimates of the full sample, 50%, 33% and 25% showed little improvement after a sample of approximately 40%–50% when comparing the asymptote of the separate samples. When we used smaller subsamples the predicted sediment volumes were normally greater than the full sample volumes. It is suggested that when planning future sediment surveys, workers plan on gathering data at approximately every 5.21 meters. These sample sizes can be cut in half and still retain relative accuracy if time savings are needed. Volume estimates may slightly suffer with these reduced samples sizes, but the field work savings can be of benefit. Results from these surveys are used in prioritization of available funds for reclamation efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment; Black Hills; interpolation; evaluation sediment; Black Hills; interpolation; evaluation

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Simpson, G.; Wu, Y.H. Accuracy and Effort of Interpolation and Sampling: Can GIS Help Lower Field Costs? ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2014, 3, 1317-1333.

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