The processes responsible for hotspot seamount formation are complex, yet the cumulative frequency-volume distribution of hotspot seamounts in the Easter Island/Salas y Gomez Chain (ESC) is found to be well-described by an upper-truncated power law. We develop a model for hotspot seamount formation where uniform energy input produces events initiated on a self-similar distribution of critical cells. We call this model Self-Similar Criticality (SSC). By allowing the spatial distribution of magma migration to be self-similar, the SSC model recreates the observed ESC seamount volume distribution. The SSC model may have broad applicability to other natural systems.
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Statistical self-similarity of hotspot seamount volumes modeled as self-similar criticality