FastFind »   Lastname: doi:10.1029/ Year: Advanced Search  

Geophysical Monograph Series



  • complex systems
  • extreme events
  • natural hazards
  • nonequilibrium systems
  • modeling and prediction
  • earthquakes

Index Terms

  • 4313 Natural Hazards: Extreme events
  • 4430 Nonlinear Geophysics: Complex systems
  • 4564 Oceanography: Physical: Tsunamis and storm surges
  • 1820 Hydrology: Floodplain dynamics



Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences: An Overview

A. Surjalal Sharma

Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

Daniel N. Baker

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Archana Bhattacharyya

Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai, India

Armin Bunde

Institut für Theoretische Physik III, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Giessen, Germany

Vijay P. Dimri

National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India

Harsh K. Gupta

National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India

Vijay K. Gupta

Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Shaun Lovejoy

Department of Physics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ian G. Main

School of GeoScience, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Daniel Schertzer

LEESU, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Universite Paris-Est, Paris, France

Hans von Storch

Nicholas W. Watkins

Extreme events are an emergent property of many complex, nonlinear systems in which various interdependent components and their interaction lead to a competition between organized (interaction dominated) and irregular (fluctuation dominated) behavior. Recent advances in nonlinear dynamics and complexity science provide a new approach to the understanding and modeling of extreme events and natural hazards. The main connection of extreme events to nonlinear dynamics arises from the recognition that they are not isolable phenomena but must be understood in terms of interactions among different components, within and outside the specific system. A wide range of techniques and approaches of complexity science are directly relevant to geosciences, e.g., nonlinear modeling and prediction, state space reconstruction, statistical self-similarity and its dynamical origins, stochastic cascade models, fractals and multifractals, network theory, self-organized criticality, etc. The scaling of processes in geosciences has been one of the most active areas of studies and has the potential to provide better tools for risk assessment and analysis. Many studies of extreme events in geosciences are also contributing to the basic understanding of their inherent properties, e.g., maximum entropy production and criticality, space-time cascades, and fractional Lévy processes. The need for better data for extreme events is evident in the necessity for detailed statistical analysis, e.g., in marine storms, nonlinear correlations, etc. The Chapman Conference on Complexity and Extreme Events held (2010) in Hyderabad, India, was focused on the understanding of natural hazards mainly from the perspective of complexity science. The emerging theme from the conference was the recognition of complexity science as the interdisciplinary framework for the understanding of extreme events and natural hazards.

Citation: Sharma, A. S., et al. (2012), Complexity and extreme events in geosciences: An overview, in Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 196, edited by A. S. Sharma et al. 1–16, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2012GM001233.


Please wait one moment ...

Cited By

Please wait one moment ...