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Fresnel zone

1. n. [Geophysics]

A frequency- and range-dependent area of a reflector from which most of the energy of a reflection is returned and arrival times differ by less than half a period from the first break, named for French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788 to 1827). Waves with such arrival times will interfere constructively and so be detected as a single arrival. Subsurface features smaller than the Fresnel zone usually cannot be detected using seismic waves.

See: attenuationfirst breakresolutionwave

Diagram of Fresnel zone resolution.

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