Increasing power-law range in avalanche amplitude and energy distributions


Power-law-type probability density functions spanning several orders of magnitude are found for different avalanche properties. We propose a methodology to overcome empirical constraints that limit the range of truncated power-law distributions. By considering catalogs of events that cover different observation windows, the maximum likelihood estimation of a global power-law exponent is computed.

This methodology is applied to amplitude and energy distributions of acoustic emission avalanches in failure-under-compression experiments of a nanoporous silica glass, finding in some cases global exponents in an unprecedented broad range: 4.5 decades for amplitudes and 9.5 decades for energies. In the latter case, however, strict statistical analysis suggests experimental limitations might alter the power-law behavior.


V. Navas-Portella, I. Serra, Á. Corral, E. Vives, Increasing power-law range in avalanche amplitude and energy distributions, Phys Rev E. 97(2-1) (2018) 022134