1. n. [Geophysics]
A description of the motion of, or means of comparison of, periodic waves such as seismic waves. Waves that have the same shape, symmetry and frequency and that reach maximum and minimum values simultaneously are in phase. Waves that are not in phase are typically described by the angular difference between them, such as, "180 degrees out of phase." Zero-phase wavelets are symmetrical in shape about zero time whereas non-zero-phase wavelets are asymmetrical. Non-zero-phase wavelets are converted to zero-phase wavelets to achieve the best resolution of the seismic data. Known (zero) phase well synthetics and vertical seismic profiles (VSPs) can be compared with local surface seismic data to determine the relative phase of the surface seismic wavelets. Such knowledge allows the surface seismic data to be "corrected" to zero phase. The units of phase are degrees.