Compositional data are represented as vector variables, with individual vector components ranging between zero and a positive maximum value representing a constant sum constraint, usually unity (or 100%). The earth sciences are flooded with spatial distributions of compositional data, such as concentrations of major ion constituents in natural waters (e.g., mole, mass, or volume fractions), mineral percentages, ore grades, or proportions of mutually exclusive categories (e.g., a water–oil–rock system). While geostatistical techniques have become popular in earth science applications since the 1970s, little attention has been paid to the unique mathematical properties of geostatistical formulations involving compositional variables.

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