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This paper describes an innovative technique, the gradient pattern analysis (GPA), for analysing spatially extended dynamics. The measures obtained from GPA are based on the spatio-temporal correlations between large and small amplitude fluctuations of the structure represented as a dynamical gradient pattern. By means of four gradient moments it is possible to quantify the relative fluctuations and scaling coherence at a dynamical numerical lattice and this is a set of proper measures of thedoi:10.1590/s0103-97332003000300023 fatcat:iysemosf3za4fb56nbl32ytw2u