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Entropy in the Critical Zone: A Comprehensive Review

Department of Ecosystems Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University, 444 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2014, 16(6), 3482-3536;
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 24 June 2014
Thermodynamic entropy was initially proposed by Clausius in 1865. Since then it has been implemented in the analysis of different systems, and is seen as a promising concept to understand the evolution of open systems in non-equilibrium conditions. Information entropy was proposed by Shannon in 1948, and has become an important concept to measure information in different systems. Both thermodynamic entropy and information entropy have been extensively applied in different fields related to the Critical Zone, such as hydrology, ecology, pedology, and geomorphology. In this study, we review the most important applications of these concepts in those fields, including how they are calculated, and how they have been utilized to analyze different processes. We then synthesize the link between thermodynamic and information entropies in the light of energy dissipation and organizational patterns, and discuss how this link may be used to enhance the understanding of the Critical Zone. View Full-Text
Keywords: information entropy; thermodynamic entropy; exergy; Critical Zone information entropy; thermodynamic entropy; exergy; Critical Zone
MDPI and ACS Style

Quijano, J.; Lin, H. Entropy in the Critical Zone: A Comprehensive Review. Entropy 2014, 16, 3482-3536.

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