Shocks generate crossover behavior in lattice avalanches

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A spatial avalanche model is introduced, in which avalanches increase stability in the regions where they occur. Instability is driven globally by a driving process that contains shocks. The system is typically subcritical, but the shocks occasionally lift it into a near- or supercritical state from which it rapidly retreats due to large avalanches. These shocks leave behind a signature—a distinct power-law crossover in the avalanche size distribution. The model is inspired by landslide field data, but the principles may be applied to any system that experiences stabilizing failures, possesses a critical point, and is subject to an ongoing process of destabilization that includes occasional dramatic destabilizing events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Early online date18 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2013


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