VI. Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies
1. Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere
This encompassing land, sea and sky Earthscape realm would not likely seem to be influenced by or express any self-organizing, fractal, network complexities, which was the case in 2000. But as these scientific fields grew in interdisciplinary veracity, endeavors in geophysics, atmospheric studies, soil science and more began to find that they indeed are equally at formative effect. (But as ultimately organic-genomic in naturomic effect, it would seem they must be in actual effect everywhere.) Into the 2010s, a broad array of local, bioregion, continental and global areas are seen as formed and guided by invariant, self-organized topologies. As the references cite, rivers, deltas, coastlines, mountain aretes, earthquakes, rainfalls, droughts and onto stormy weather patterns. See the Global Climate as a Complex Dynamical System section for more reports.
, . 5th International Conference on Fractals and Dynamic Systems in Geoscience. www.jcu.edu.au/5frac/program. To be held at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia on August 13-14, 2009. The preliminary program lists, e.g., Frits Agterberg (Natural Resources Canada): Applications of Fractals and Dynamic Systems to Mineral Exploration and Resources; Bjorn Jamtveit (University of Oslo): Hierarchical Fracturing Processes; and Alison Ord (CSIRO): Fractals, Rock Deformation and Fluid Flow.
Entropy, Nonlinear Dynamics and Methods of Complex Systems in Earthquake Physics. www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/earthquake_physics. A January 2018 announcement and invitation for a special issue with this title for the popular online MDPI Entropy site, which is open for manuscripts until October 2018. It is edited by Nicholas Sarlis, a University of Athens physicist whose general project is the Nonlinear Dynamics of Climate Change.
During the last decade, considerable progress has been made towards the understanding of pre-seismic processes. In this direction, the physics of critical phenomena, information entropy, and methods of complex systems have been applied for the study of rupture in the Solid Earth crust. From another point of view, during the 21st century, many very strong earthquakes took place (e.g., the 2011 M9.1 Tohoku, the 2004 M9.0 Sumatra, Andaman, or the 2010 M8.8 Chile earthquakes). Since the instrumentation in our days is much better than that of the previous century, the study of various geophysical observables before these earthquakes may provide useful precursory signals. The scope of this special issue is to strengthen and present the most recent attempts in both theoretical and experimental methods for understanding the physics of earthquakes and hence foresee their occurrence. (Synopsis)
Abe, S. and N. Suzuki. Determination of the Scale of Coarse Graining in Earthquake Networks. EPL Europhysics Letters. 87/48008, 2009. Even gross seismic events are now found to act as complex systems with a scale invariance across their range of cellular sizes. Compare with Donges, et al, herein for similar findings about weather events.
Addiscott, Tom. Emergence or Self-Organization? Look to the Soil Population. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 4/4, 2011. An emeritus soil scientist at Rothamsted Research, the British institute for Sustainable Agriculture, seeks to avail and apply complexity theories in this vital agronomy realm. Together with the above article, a summing up of his truly grass roots insights into a living nature.
Emergence is not well defined, but all emergent systems have the following characteristics. The whole is more than the sum of the parts, they show bottom-up rather top-down organization and, if biological, they involve chemical signaling. Self-organization can be understood in terms of the second and third stages of thermodynamics enabling these stages used as analogues of ecosystem functioning. The second stage system was suggested earlier to provide a useful analogue of the behaviour of natural and agricultural ecosystems subjected to perturbations, but for this it needs the capacity for self-organization. Considering the hierarchy of the ecosystem suggests that this self-organization is provided by the third stage, whose entropy maximization acts as an analogue of that of the soil population when it releases small molecules from much larger molecules in dead plant matter. This it does as vigorously as conditions allow. Through this activity, the soil population confers self-organization at both the ecosystem and the global level. The soil population has been seen as both emergent and self-organizing, supporting the suggestion that the two concepts are so closely linked as to be virtually interchangeable. If this idea is correct one of the characteristics of a biological emergent system seems to be the ability to confer self-organization on an ecosystem or other entity which may be larger than itself.
Addiscott, Tom. Entropy, Non-Linearity and Hierarchy in Ecosystems. Geoderma. 160/1, 2010. The author is a soil scientist and pioneer in the application of complexity theories to the living geosphere. With the next citation, a good entry to complexity science itself, and its many applications from the ground up.
Agarwal, Praqya and Andre Skupin, eds. Self-Organising Maps: Applications in Geographic Information Science. New York: Wiley, 2008. An adaptation of Teuvo Kohonenís computational neural network model, in employ across many sciences, to climate, ecosystem, and spatial landscapes. Not yet seen, check publisherís site for contents and first chapter.
In Chapter 4, Thill et al, describe work with a linguistic database where the SOM method is used to mine and visualize latent organization rules within the data. Yan and Thill, in Chapter 5, use SOM as an exploratory data mining tool fort spatial interaction data to visualize flows and movements in space within an interactive environment. (18)
Aggarwal, Sandeep, et al. Multifractal Analysis of 2001 Mw 7.7 Bhuj Earthquake Sequence in Gujarat, Western India.. Physica A. 488/177, 2017. Geophysicists Aggarwal, Gujarat University, Denisse Pasten, University of Chile, and Prosanta Khan, Indian Institute of Technology apply self-organized criticality theory to discern signs of mathematical regularities even for such violent events. To reflect upon, a novel, emergent worldwide science lately becomes able to quantify these geological upheavals, so as to possible predict and mitigate the havoc they wreak on peoples.
The 2001 Bhuj mainshock seismic sequence in the Kachchh area, occurring during 2001 to 2012, has been analyzed using mono-fractal and multi-fractal dimension spectrum analysis technique. This region was characterized by frequent moderate shocks of for more than a decade since the occurrence of 2001 Bhuj earthquake. The present study is therefore important for precursory analysis using this sequence. The selected long-sequence has been investigated first time for completeness magnitude Mc 3.0 using the maximum curvature method. Multi-fractal Dq spectrum analysis was carried out using effective window-length of 200 earthquakes with a moving window of 20 events overlapped by 180 events. Similar behavior is ubiquitous elsewhere around the globe, and warns for proximity of a damaging seismic event in an area. (Abstract excerpt)
Agterberg, Frederik. Multifractal Simulation of Geochemical Map Patterns. Daniel Merriam and John Davis, eds. Geological Modeling and Simulation. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum, 2001. Computer enhancements of chemical deposits and distributions present in soil and rocks demonstrate their multiscale, self-similar form.
Bickford, Marion, ed.. The Web of Geological Sciences. Geological Society of America: Boulder, CO, 2013. A 50 year retrospective of many advances in this field of study, lately expanded to extrasolar planets. Typical chapters are Plates, Planets, and Phase Changes: 50 Years of Petrology by David Walker, From Paleontology to Paleobiology, Patricia Kelly, et al, Revolutions in Paleoclimatology by Judith Parrish, The Evolution of Geobiology in the Context of Living Stromatolites, John Spear and Frank Corsetti, and The Role of Geobiology in Astrobiological Explorations by Jack Farmer, from which one might conclude we live in a moldy cosmos.
Biswas, Soumyajyoti, et al. Statistical Physics of Fracture and Earthquakes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Vol.377/Iss.2136, 2018. An introduction to an issue with this title which is a good example, for this section and throughout, how the presence and study of complex network systems has now expanded to and gained theoretical roots in this substantial domain. See also, for example, New Trends in Statistical Physics of Complex Systems by Antonio Scarfone in Entropy (20/12, 2018).
Manifestations of emergent properties in stressed disordered materials are often the result of an interplay between strong perturbations in the stress field around defects. The collective response of a long-ranged correlated multi-component system is an ideal playing field for statistical physics. Hence, many aspects of such collective responses in widely spread length and energy scales can be addressed by the tools of statistical physics. In this theme issue, some of these aspects are treated from various angles of experiments, simulations and analytical methods, and connected together by their common base of complex-system dynamics. (Abstract)
Bonetti, Sara, et al. Channelization Cascade in Landscape Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/1375, 2020. ETH Zurich, Princeton and Polytechnic Institute of Torino systems geologists including Amilcare Porporato achieve another current proof that it is possible to verify the manifest, exemplary presence of a self-organizing, self-similar mathematics even across mountainous arÍte terrains.
We show that increasingly complex ridge and valley networks are produced by nonlinear partial differential equations as a minimalist landscape evolution model to describe the interplay between soil creep, runoff erosion, and tectonic uplift. We identify critical conditions for the transition from a smooth to a channelized topography and highlight striking similarities with fluid dynamic turbulence. The results shed light on the physical mechanisms responsible for the observed landscape self-organization. The formation of regular prefractal networks reveals a tendency to evolve toward optimal configurations typical of nonequilibrium complex systems. (Significance)
British, Geophysical Association. Scale Invariance and Scale Dependence in Earth Structure and Dynamics. www.geophysics.org.uk. At this site can be accessed Abstracts of this 2006 conference which discussed the latest findings on spatial and temporal self-similarity and power law phenomena from earthquake fractures to climate variations.