Fractals in the Earth Sciences

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Fractals have changed the way we understand and study nature. This change has been brought about mainly by the work of B. B. Mandelbrot and his book The Fractal Geometry of Nature. Now here is a book that collects articles treating fractals in the earth sciences. The themes chosen span, as is appropriate for a discourse on fractals, many orders of magnitude; including earthquakes, ocean floor topography, fractures, faults, mineral crystallinity, gold and silver deposition. There are also chapters on dynamical processes that are fractal, such as rivers, earthquakes, and a paper on self-organized criticality. Many of the chapters discuss how to estimate fractal dimensions, Hurst exponents, and other scaling exponents. This book, in a way, represents a snapshot of a field in which fractals has brought inspiration and a fresh look at familiar subjects. New ideas and attempts to quantify the world we see around us are found throughout. Many of these ideas will grow and inspire further work, others will be superseded by new observations and insights, most probably with future contributions by the authors of these chapters.