Open AccessThis article is
- freely available
Statistical Mechanics and Information-Theoretic Perspectives on Complexity in the Earth System
Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, I. Metaxa & Vas. Pavlou St., GR-15236 Penteli, Greece
Research Domain IV—Transdisciplinary Concepts & Methods, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Department of Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
Department of Electronics Engineering, Technological Education Institute (TEI) of Piraeus, 250 Thivon and P. Ralli, GR-12244 Aigaleo, Athens, Greece
Department of Physics, Humboldt University, 12489 Berlin, Germany
Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, Department of Physics, University of Athens, Panepistimioupoli Zografou, 15784 Athens, Greece
Section of Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, University of Athens, Panepistimioupoli Zografou, 15784 Athens, Greece
Institute of Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
The author's primary affiliation is 6.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 September 2013; in revised form: 22 October 2013 / Accepted: 22 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Abstract: This review provides a summary of methods originated in (non-equilibrium) statistical mechanics and information theory, which have recently found successful applications to quantitatively studying complexity in various components of the complex system Earth. Specifically, we discuss two classes of methods: (i) entropies of different kinds (e.g., on the one hand classical Shannon and R´enyi entropies, as well as non-extensive Tsallis entropy based on symbolic dynamics techniques and, on the other hand, approximate entropy, sample entropy and fuzzy entropy); and (ii) measures of statistical interdependence and causality (e.g., mutual information and generalizations thereof, transfer entropy, momentary information transfer). We review a number of applications and case studies utilizing the above-mentioned methodological approaches for studying contemporary problems in some exemplary fields of the Earth sciences, highlighting the potentials of different techniques.
Keywords: entropy measures; symbolic dynamics; non-extensive statistical mechanics; causality; Earth sciences
Citations to this Article
Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Balasis, G.; Donner, R.V.; Potirakis, S.M.; Runge, J.; Papadimitriou, C.; Daglis, I.A.; Eftaxias, K.; Kurths, J. Statistical Mechanics and Information-Theoretic Perspectives on Complexity in the Earth System. Entropy 2013, 15, 4844-4888.
Balasis G, Donner RV, Potirakis SM, Runge J, Papadimitriou C, Daglis IA, Eftaxias K, Kurths J. Statistical Mechanics and Information-Theoretic Perspectives on Complexity in the Earth System. Entropy. 2013; 15(11):4844-4888.
Balasis, Georgios; Donner, Reik V.; Potirakis, Stelios M.; Runge, Jakob; Papadimitriou, Constantinos; Daglis, Ioannis A.; Eftaxias, Konstantinos; Kurths, Jürgen. 2013. "Statistical Mechanics and Information-Theoretic Perspectives on Complexity in the Earth System." Entropy 15, no. 11: 4844-4888.