Fuzzy Weights of Evidence Method and Its Application in Mineral Potential Mapping

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This paper proposes a new approach of weights of evidence method based on fuzzy sets and fuzzy probabilities for mineral potential mapping. It can be considered as a generalization of the ordinary weights of evidence method, which is based on binary or ternary patterns of evidence and has been used in conjunction with geographic information systems for mineral potential mapping during the past few years. In the newly proposed method, instead of separating evidence into binary or ternary form, fuzzy sets containing more subjective genetic elements are created;fuzzy probabilities are defined to construct a model for calculating the posterior probability of a unit area containing mineral deposits on the basis of the fuzzy evidence for the unit area. The method can be treated as a hybrid method, which allows objective or subjective definition of a fuzzy membership function of evidence augmented by objective definition of fuzzy or conditional probabilities. Posterior probabilities calculated by this method would depend on existing data in a totally data-driven approach method, but depend partly on expert's knowledge when the hybrid method is used. A case study for demonstration purposes consists of application of the method to gold deposits in Meguma Terrane, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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