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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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fold

Diagram of parts of synclines and anticlines
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1. n. [Geology]
A wave-like geologic structure that forms when rocks deform by bending instead of breaking under compressional stress. Anticlines are arch-shaped folds in which rock layers are upwardly convex. The oldest rock layers form the core of the fold, and outward from the core progressively younger rocks occur. A syncline is the opposite type of fold, having downwardly convex layers with young rocks in the core. Folds typically occur in anticline-syncline pairs. The hinge is the point of maximum curvature in a fold. The limbs occur on either side of the fold hinge. The imaginary surface bisecting the limbs of the fold is called the axial surface. The axial surface is called the axial plane in cases where the fold is symmetrical and the lines containing the points of maximum curvature of the folded layers, or hinge lines, are coplanar. Concentric folding preserves the thickness of each bed as measured perpendicular to original bedding. Similar folds have the same wave shape, but bed thickness changes throughout each layer, with thicker hinges and thinner limbs.
2. n. [Geophysics]
A measure of the redundancy of common midpoint seismic data, equal to the number of offset receivers that record a given data point or in a given bin and are added during stacking to produce a single trace. Typical values of fold for modern seismic data range from 60 to 240 for 2D seismic data, and 10 to 120 for 3D seismic data. The fold of 2D seismic data can be calculated by dividing the number of seismometer groups by twice the number of group intervals between shotpoints.