An inverse-cascade model for self-organized critical behavior

D Turcotte, B D Malamud, G Morein, W I Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


We introduce an inverse-cascade model to explain self-organized critical behavior. This model is motivated by the forest-fire model. In the forest-fire model trees are randomly planted on a grid, sparks are also dropped on the grid resulting in fires in which trees are lost. In the inverse-cascade model single trees are introduced and these combine to form larger and larger clusters. This is the inverse cascade and gives a power-law (fractal) frequency-size distribution of clusters. Model fires eliminate trees from all cluster sizes but significant numbers of trees are lost only from the largest clusters and this loss terminates the power-law scaling. Finally, our model illustrates important differences between critical and self-organized critical behavior. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-643
Number of pages15
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1999


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