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  • RESEARCH PAPER

    EARTH SCIENCE FRONTIERS Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2007 Online English edition of the Chinese language journal

    Cite this article as: Earth Science Frontiers, 2007, 14(1): 193206.

    Received date: 2005-11-07. *Corresponding author: E-mail: star@geol.msu.ru Copyright 2007, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Peking University, Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved..

    Synergetics in Geology V.I. StAROSTIN*, A.S. SHCHERBAKOV, D.R. SAKYS Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, Moscow 119992, Russia

    Abstract: Synergetics as the general theory of self-organization, embraces a large class of natural phenomena and is not limited by the thermodynamic condition. The thermodynamic structure and thermal chaos are only one of the forms of polarity of existence. The structural self-organization proceeds in such a way that numerous fluctuations are formed at the beginning. Amplitudes of long-range correlations, which are small at first, increase when the system moves far away from the equilibrium. As a result, a single fluctuation, which embraces the entire system, emerges from a multitude of fluctuations. This thesis of synergetics describes the inorganic world by a completely different perspective. All classes of inorganic bodies, including geological ones, should be considered as mutants and products of the selection of mutants that have been realized in accordance with the Darwinian logical scheme. Nature is quite often but not always expressed in fractal forms, which is divided into the 'correct' and 'incorrect' ones. Example of correct fractal is crystalline lattices with their different-scale repeatability of elementary cell. Our planet is a natural fractal formation of the class incorrect fractals. Considering the subordination as a law of fraction structure, it is necessary to assume that lithosphere in both large and small configurations is also a fractal structure. Logically, the entire geological reality should represent a fractal product of synergetic self-organization of inorganic matter. The Earth represents a multistage convective system like the Benard's convective structure, in which convection at one level initiates convection at the next overlying level. The principle of structure-forming convection is manifested in both large and small scales. It constitutes, for example, the base of the theory of fluidization during the formation of mineral deposits that also includes other principles of synergetics. According to this theory, subsidence of sedimentary rocks is accompanied by the formation of fluid-saturated zones of dilatation. Fluids are represented by water-hydrocarbon components in the upper part and by water-carbonate and ore components in the lower part of the sedimentary section. Under the influence of increase in temperature with depth, the fluids are heated and the intraformation pressure is anomalously increased. Consequently, the heated fluids penetrate the higher levels of the section. The ascending fluids, which represent powerful heat carriers, realize the convective mechanism of significant additional heating of overlying sedimentary rocks and sharply accelerate their katagenetic transformation.

    Key Words: synergetics; self-organization; thermodynamics

    In contrast to other sciences, data of the birth of synergetics is reliably established. At the scientific conference in 1973, G. Haken made a report "Cooperative phenomena in strongly nonequilibrium aphysical systems". Haken noted that cooperative phenomena are observed in most of the different systems and environments. All phenomena such as phase transitions, autocatalytic reactions, dynamics of populations, astrophysical phenomena, social processes and even the origination and development of mode are examples of the joint cooperative synergetic phenomena. When they reach a certain boundary, the chaos of relationship between elements is immediately replaced by their structurally ordered relationship.

    Any ensemble of elements is a self-organized and spontaneous self-arrangement of certain units of matter[15]. Processes of the cooperative self-organization take place by an unexplainable mysterious way. Elements act in a self-coordinated manner. There is no external control, and elements themselves decide the type of future structure. This is well demonstrated in the Taylor instability. The motion of liquid between coaxial cylinders was investigated in the experiment. The exterior cylinder is fixed, whereas the internal cylinder rotates. The liquid moves in a laminar regime at low rotation speed. At a certain threshold rotation speed, fluid structures oscillate with one or two frequencies. More complex structures can also be observed with an

  • V.I. STAROSTIN et al. / Earth Science Frontiers, 2007, 14(1): 193206

    oscillation frequency equal to 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 of the main frequency. But how can one understand the following fact: at the critical threshold level, the chaos of water molecules ceases and each molecule tends to a certain point in space. How does any unit molecule of H2O know its unique place in the general structure?

    Collectivity and coherence of the action of elementsemphasized Hakenare the key for understanding the synergetic self-assemblage of structures. Indeed, recrystallization of melt is followed by the collective organization of atoms in nodes of crystalline lattice of mineral. Magnetic moments are collectively arranged in the ferromagnetic matter, whereas molecule vortices in liquid or autocatalytic chemical reactions are self-arranged. Thus it can be confidently stated that cooperative arrangement and self-coordination is the general tool of structurization in any form of matter ranging from atomic units to social and intellectual matter.

    1 Disequilibrium state and self-organization of medium

    In addition to cooperative arrangement, the theory of synergetics includes another essential feature of the genesis of structuring, namely the nonequilibrium state of medium, i.e., such a state has to be constantly maintained by the input of external energy. The synergetic self-assemblage of structures takes place only when the energy flux drives out the system from the static state beyond the stability boundary. The statement, the case of heat systems beyond the boundary thermodynamic equilibrium suggests at least four signs of self-organization[59]:

    (1) Motion. This is natural. Self-organization of elements appears only in deep zones of the process.

    (2) Open state of system. Classical thermodynamics investigated situations with heated gas in absolutely isolated vessel. New nonlinear thermodynamics do not consider ideal situations but consider real systems that are connected with the environment in terms of energy. Input of external energy is an essential condition of self-organization.

    (3) Cooperative arrangement, coherence of the action of elements.

    (4) Nonlinear thermodynamic situation. Nonequilibrium state implies the following. Both the

    principles of thermodynamics are formulated for closed systems. According to the second principle, entropy increases in such system, and the whole system of its elements tends to equilibrium, i.e., the mean statistic distribution. Maximum entropy is maximum uncertainty and amorphous Brownian chaos in the relation of elements. Input of external energy leads to deviation from equilibrium. It not only suppresses the growth of entropy but also decreases the entropy. In this case, chaos in the system do

    not disappear gradually. Only when the input of energy leads the system far beyond the equilibrium, the chaotic ensemble of elements is structurized in a stepwise manner.

    The list of conditions of self-organization mentioned above suggests that the synergetics embraces only the thermal and thermodynamic processes, because the law of entropy growth is the second law of thermodynamics. However, it is not so.

    The law of entropy growth was indeed first derived from the analysis of thermal processes. It was formulated by Clausivitz and was dismally interpreted soon after his death. In accordance with the law of entropy growth, thermal energy of any body is irretrievably dispersed. This is valid for any macroobject, as is for the whole Universe. The energy of stars and galaxies is dispersed and averaged in the cosmic refrigerator at some moment. The law of entropy growth leads to leveling of the difference in energy potentials in the Earth as well. Ultimately, all and any kind of processes will cease, and the Universe will come to standstill. At present, the development of synergetics has made clear as to why the above scenario did not occur. Synergetics has showed that the law of entropy growth, the demon of destruction, has an antipode defined as the principle of spontaneous structure genesis. This is a creative principle that provides the complication of matter in the Earth from the bio-inert form to the organic and intellectual ones.

    To understand the deep essence of the theory of synergetics, it is necessary to know that, similar to the anti-entropic structure genesis, the entropic destruction is not limited by the class of thermodynamic phenomena. This is the partial invariant of world order, which appears and acts as difference of potentials in other fields of physics as well, similar to that in sciences of inorganic, organic, and socially organized matter. In addition, the theory of synergetic structure genesis with all logical bases of its essential principles was first constructed on the basis of the analysis of the thermodynamics of chemical processes.

    As it is well known, the principles and mechanisms of the self-organization were distinctly formulated for the first time on the basis of autocatalytic chemical reactions by the Nobel laureate I. Prigogine, a descendant