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The fractal structure of the sequence of volcanic eruptions worldwide: Order clustering of events and episodic discharge of material

Abstract

This study of the time-dependent structure of the Earth’s volcanic activity at scales from a few months to a few centuries is based on three sequences of events: two selections from the Smithsonian catalog and a selection from the ice core-volcano index catalog (IVI). This data selection was based on carefully chosen (1) lower thresholds for event size and (2) time intervals, so as to make the resulting data subsets homogeneous. The next step was to analyze the time structure. Three types of clustering trends were revealed, as follows. (1) The rate of events in the sequence is not uniform over time, with their dates forming activity episodes. (2) The time-ordered sequence of eruption size shows that larger events form closely connected clusters. We give the name “order clustering” to this novel phenomenon. (3) The eruption rate shows episodic and spiky behavior. In each of the three cases the tendency to clustering has a multi-scale, fractal (self-similar) character: the sequences of eruptions behave as impulsive 1/f noise. These results suggest the hypothesis that there must be some global mechanism that is responsible for synchronization of bursts of activity on this planet.

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Correspondence to A. A. Gusev.

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Original Russian Text © A.A. Gusev, 2014, published in Vulkanologiya i Seismologiya, 2014, No. 1, pp. 38–60.

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Gusev, A.A. The fractal structure of the sequence of volcanic eruptions worldwide: Order clustering of events and episodic discharge of material. J. Volcanolog. Seismol. 8, 34–53 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0742046314010023

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Keywords

  • Volcanic Eruption
  • Fractal Structure
  • Time Structure
  • Surrogate Data
  • Time Dependent Behavior