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1. n. [Geology]

The horizontal displacement between points on either side of a fault, which can range from millimeters to kilometers. Perhaps the most readily visible examples of offset are features such as fences or roads that have been displaced by strike-slip faults, such as the San Andreas fault of California, USA.

Synonyms: offset well

See: faultstrike-slip fault

Dextral and sinistral offset in strike-slip faults.

2. n. [Geophysics]

In surface seismic acquisition, the horizontal distance from source to receiver. In a vertical seismic profile, offset is the horizontal distance between the source and the wellhead or the surface projection of the receiver in the case of a deviated well. Offset between seismic source and receiver creates a delay, or moveout, in the arrival time of a reflection that can be corrected before stacking and can be used to determine velocity.

See: acquisitionarrival timecommon-offsetextended spreadfoldgeophone offsetlithostratigraphic inversionmoveoutmutenormal moveoutperpendicular offsetshotpointspreadtail mutetwo-way traveltimevelocity analysisvertical seismic profilewalkaway vertical seismic profilezero-offset data

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