Evolution of the average avalanche shape with the universality class

L. Laurson, X. Illa, S. Santucci, K.-T. Tallakstad, K.J. Maloy, M.J. Alava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


A multitude of systems ranging from the Barkhausen effect in ferromagnetic materials to plastic deformation and earthquakes respond to slow external driving by exhibiting intermittent, scale-free avalanche dynamics or crackling noise. The avalanches are power-law distributed in size, and have a typical average shape: these are the two most important signatures of avalanching systems. Here we show how the average avalanche shape evolves with the universality class of the avalanche dynamics by employing a combination of scaling theory, extensive numerical simulations and data from crack propagation experiments. It follows a simple scaling form parameterized by two numbers, the scaling exponent relating the average avalanche size to its duration and a parameter characterizing the temporal asymmetry of the avalanches. The latter reflects a broken time-reversal symmetry in the avalanche dynamics, emerging from the local nature of the interaction kernel mediating the avalanche dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2927
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • avalanche

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