Abstract: Infinitesimal perturbations in various systems showing spatiotemporal chaos (STC) evolve following the power laws of the Kardar–Parisi–Zhang (KPZ) universality class. While universal properties beyond the power-law exponents, such as distributions and correlations and their geometry dependence, are established for random growth and related KPZ systems, the validity of these findings to deterministic chaotic perturbations is unknown. Here, we fill this gap between stochastic KPZ systems and deterministic STC perturbations by conducting extensive simulations of a prototypical STC system, namely, the logistic coupled map lattice. We show that the perturbation interfaces, defined by the logarithm of the modulus of the perturbation vector components, exhibit the universal, geometry-dependent statistical laws of the KPZ class despite the deterministic nature of STC. We demonstrate that KPZ statistics for three established geometries arise for different initial profiles of the perturbation, namely, point (local), uniform, and “pseudo-stationary” initial perturbations, the last being the statistically stationary state of KPZ interfaces given independently of the Lyapunov vector. This geometry dependence lasts until the KPZ correlation length becomes comparable to the system size. Thereafter, perturbation vectors converge to the unique Lyapunov vector, showing characteristic meandering, coalescence, and annihilation of borders of piece-wise regions that remain different from the Lyapunov vector. Our work implies that the KPZ universality for stochastic systems generally characterizes deterministic STC perturbations, providing new insights for STC, such as the universal dependence on initial perturbation and beyond.
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