In the context of this special section of the Vadose Zone Journal, fractals can be thought of as binary geometrical patterns that repeat themselves (either exactly or stochastically) over a range of spatial scales. As a result, their properties tend to scale in a power law fashion. Multifractals, in contrast, are geometrical patterns produced by continuously distributed variables whose properties exhibit a multitude of power law scaling relations. The practical value of fractal and multifractal models lies in their ability to effectively simulate the scale-dependent heterogeneity that is typically present in natural systems.

Fractals and multifractals owe most...

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