Time scale properties of self-potential signals are investigated through the analysis of the second order structure function (variogram), a powerful tool to investigate the spatial and temporal variability of observational data. In this work we analyse two sequences of self-potential values measured by means of a geophysical monitoring array located in a seismically active area of Southern Italy. The range of scales investigated goes from a few minutes to several days. It is shown that signal fluctuations are characterised by two time scale ranges in which self-potential variability appears to follow slightly different dynamical behaviours. Results point to the presence of fractal, non stationary features expressing a long term correlation with scaling coefficients which are the clue of stabilising mechanisms. In the scale ranges in which the series show scale invariant behaviour, self-potentials evolve like fractional Brownian motions with anticorrelated increments typical of processes regulated by negative feedback mechanisms (antipersistence). On scales below about 6 h the strength of such an antipersistence appears to be slightly greater than that observed on larger time scales where the fluctuations are less efficiently stabilised.
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