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Black swans, power laws, and dragon-kings: Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, wildfires, floods, and SOC models

  • M. K. Sachs
  • M. R. Yoder
  • D. L. Turcotte
  • J. B. Rundle
  • B. D. Malamud
Review

Abstract

Extreme events that change global society have been characterized as black swans. The frequency-size distributions of many natural phenomena are often well approximated by power-law (fractal) distributions. An important question is whether the probability of extreme events can be estimated by extrapolating the power-law distributions. Events that exceed these extrapolations have been characterized as dragon-kings. In this paper we consider extreme events for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, landslides and floods. We also consider the extreme event behavior of three models that exhibit self-organized criticality (SOC): the slider-block, forest-fire, and sand-pile models. Since extrapolations using power-laws are widely used in probabilistic hazard assessment, the occurrence of dragon-king events have important practical implications.

Keywords

European Physical Journal Special Topic Loader Plate Sumatra Earthquake Characteristic Earthquake Sandpile Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. K. Sachs
    • 1
  • M. R. Yoder
    • 1
  • D. L. Turcotte
    • 2
  • J. B. Rundle
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • B. D. Malamud
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeographyKings College LondonLondonUK

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