Table of Contents
International Journal of Atmospheric Sciences
Volume 2013, Article ID 419694, 7 pages
Research Article

Self-Organized Criticality: Emergent Complex Behavior in PM10 Pollution

1Key Laboratory of Hunan Ecotourism, Jishou University, Jishou, Hunan 416000, China
2College of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou, Hunan 416000, China

Received 14 February 2013; Revised 9 May 2013; Accepted 16 May 2013

Academic Editor: Prodromos Zanis

Copyright © 2013 Shi Kai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We analyze long-term time series of daily average PM10 concentrations in Chengdu city. Detrended fluctuation analysis of the time series shows long range correlation at one-year temporal scale. Spectral analysis of the time series indicates 1/f noise behavior. The probability distribution functions of PM10 concentrations fluctuation have a scale-invariant structure. Why do the complex structures of PM10 concentrations evolution exhibit scale-invariant? We consider that these complex dynamical characteristics can be recognized as the footprint of self-organized criticality (SOC). Based on the theory of self-organized criticality, a simplified sandpile model for PM10 pollution with a nondimensional formalism is put forward. Our model can give a good prediction of scale-invariant in PM10 evolution. A qualitative explanation of the complex dynamics observed in PM10 evolution is suggested. The work supports the proposal that PM10 evolution acts as a SOC process on calm weather. New theory suggests one way to understand the origin of complex dynamical characteristics in PM10 pollution.