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Earth and Space Science

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Spatial Heterogeneity


Characteri zing spatial heterogeneity is fundamental in numerous areas, yet defining spatial patterns often depends on qualitative assessments or a priori knowledge. Lacunarity analysis is a popular occupancy-based method for identi fy ing relevant length scales in spatially heterogeneous systems. From lacunarity, we identify the ex istence of a point which encapsulates the spatial heterogeneity of a given system. This value sati sfies the conditions for the lac unarity cutoff function and forms the bas is of a heterogeneity index. We evaluate the behavior of both parameters in mono fractal, clustered, and periodic systems. ln addition, we demonstrate the broad utility of our approach to the scientific community by classifying the spati al heterogeneity of fractured sea ice and comparing our findings to ex isting measures. The heterogeneity index produced a linear correlation with the area fraction of open ocean to ice with an R2 of 0.967.


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