19. Line-Intercept Sampling

  1. Steven K. Thompson

Published Online: 10 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch19

Sampling, Third Edition

Sampling, Third Edition

How to Cite

Thompson, S. K. (2012) Line-Intercept Sampling, in Sampling, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118162934.ch19

Author Information

  1. Simon Fraser University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 FEB 2012

Book Series:

  1. Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Walter A. Shewhart and
  2. Samuel S. Wilks

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470402313

Online ISBN: 9781118162934



  • geometric probability;
  • Horvitz–Thompson method;
  • line-intercept sampling


In line-intercept sampling, a sample of lines is selected in a study area, and whenever an object of the population is intersected by one or more of the sample lines, a variable of interest associated with that object is recorded. An estimate that depends only on the distinct objects intersected by the sample of transect lines may be obtained by the Horvitz–Thompson method. The variance formulas for the Horvitz–Thompson estimator depend on the joint inclusion probabilities. Line-intercept methods based on the length of interception and the numbers of interceptions have also been developed. Many of the ideas of geometric probability underlying line-intercept methods are described in Kendall and Moran and Solomon.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Geometric probability; line-intercept sampling; mathematical probability