Self-organized critical forest-fire model

Phys. Rev. Lett. 69, 1629 – Published 14 September 1992
B. Drossel and F. Schwabl


A forest-fire model is introduced which contains a lightning probability f. This leads to a self-organized critical state in the limit f→0 provided that the time scales of tree growth and burning down of forest clusters are separated. We derive scaling laws and calculate all critical exponents. The values of the critical exponents are confirmed by computer simulations. For a two-dimensional system, we show that the forest density in the critical state assumes its minimum possible value, i.e., that energy dissipation is maximum.


  • Received 30 June 1992
  • Published in the issue dated 14 September 1992

© 1992 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

B. Drossel and F. Schwabl

  • Physik-Department der Technischen Universität München, D-8046 Garching, Germany

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