I will present a review of the work done in the last ten years on the acoustic emis-
sion avalanches measured during the compression of different porous materials. The
experimental data is analysed with tools that are imported from Geophysics.
The studies suggest the existence of criticality in the failure under compression
and reveal many statistical similarities with earthquakes. Both phenomena share a
Gutenberg-Richter law, an Omori law for aftershocks, a productivity law and very
similar distribution of waiting times. The study of different samples has revealed
that results might be classified into two different classes: a first one, that includes
earthquakes, corresponding to heterogeneous materials showing weakening response
and a second one corresponding to more homogeneous materials showing hardening
 J.Bar´o, A.Corral, X.Illa, A.Planes, E.K.H.Salje, W.Schranz, E.Soto-Parra &
E.Vives Statistical Similarity between the Compression of a Porous Material and
Earthquakes Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 08870 (2013).
 E.Vives, J.Bar´o, A.Planes From Labquakes in Porous Materials to Earthquakes,
In “Avalanches in Functional Materials and Geophysics”, Ed. by E.K.H. Salje,
A.Saxena and A.Planes Springer (2017), 32.