The concept of the Fresnel zone has been explored by many workers; most commonly, their work has involved examining the Fresnel zone in the limiting case of zero offset and constant velocity. I have examined the shape of the Fresnel zone for nonzero offset and in the situation of constant velocity gradient. Finite-offset Fresnel zones are not circular but are elliptical and may be many times larger than their zero-offset equivalents. My derivation takes a largely geometric approach, and I suggest a useful approximation for the dimension of the Fresnel zone parallel to the shot-receiver azimuth. The presence of a velocity gradient (velocity increasing with depth) in the subsurface leads to an expansion of the Fresnel zone to an area that is far larger than may be determined through a more usual straight-ray determination.

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