Self-organized criticality: Does it have anything to do with criticality and is it useful?
- Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Snee Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Abstract. Three aspects of complexity are fractals, chaos, and self-organized criticality. There are many examples of the applicability of fractals in solid-earth geophysics, such as earthquakes and landforms. Chaos is widely accepted as being applicable to a variety of geophysical phenomena, for instance, tectonics and mantle convection. Several simple cellular-automata models have been said to exhibit self-organized criticality. Examples include the sandpile, forest fire and slider-blocks models. It is believed that these are directly applicable to landslides, actual forest fires, and earthquakes, respectively. The slider-block model has been shown to clearly exhibit deterministic chaos and fractal behaviour. The concept of self-similar cascades can explain self-organized critical behaviour. This approach also illustrates the similarities and differences with critical phenomena through association with the site-percolation and diffusion-limited aggregation models.