Discriminating among tectonic settings of spinel based on multiple machine learning algorithms

Shuai Han, Mingchao Li, Qiubing Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In geochemistry, researchers usually discriminate among tectonic settings by analyzing the chemistry elements of minerals. Previous studies have generally taken spinel and monoclinic pyroxene as subjects. Therefore, in this research, we took spinel as a breakthrough. Totally 1898 spinel samples with 14-dimension chemistry elements were collected from three different tectonic settings, including ocean island, convergent margin, and spreading center. In the experiment, 20 classification algorithms were conducted in the classification learner application of MATLAB. The validation accuracies, receiver operating characteristic curves (ROCs), and the areas under ROC curve (AUCs) show that the Bag Ensemble Classifier has the best performance in the problem. Its validation accuracy is 86.3%, and the average AUC is 0.957. For further analysis, we studied the importance of different major elements in discriminating. It has been found that TiO2 has the best impact on discrimination, and FeOT, Al2O3, Cr2O3, MgO, MnO, and ZnO are of less importance. Based on the Bag Ensemble Classifier, a MATLAB plug-in application named Discriminator of Spinel Tectonic Setting (DSTS) has been developed for promoting the usage of machine learning in geochemistry and facilitating other researchers to use our achievements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalBig Earth Data
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • application development
  • discrimination method
  • Geochemistry
  • machine learning
  • spinel
  • tectonic setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications

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