Analysis of self-organized criticality in the Olami-Feder-Christensen model and in real earthquakes

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2007 May;75(5 Pt 2):055101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.75.055101. Epub 2007 May 14.


We perform an analysis on the dissipative Olami-Feder-Christensen model on a small world topology considering avalanche size differences. We show that when criticality appears, the probability density functions (PDFs) for the avalanche size differences at different times have fat tails with a q-Gaussian shape. This behavior does not depend on the time interval adopted and is found also when considering energy differences between real earthquakes. Such a result can be analytically understood if the sizes (released energies) of the avalanches (earthquakes) have no correlations. Our findings support the hypothesis that a self-organized criticality mechanism with long-range interactions is at the origin of seismic events and indicate that it is not possible to predict the magnitude of the next earthquake knowing those of the previous ones.