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Area query processing is significant for various applications of wireless sensor networks since it can request information of particular areas in the monitored environment. Existing query processing techniques cannot solve area queries. Intuitively centralized processing on Base Station can accomplish area queries via collecting information from all sensor nodes. However, this method is not suitable for wireless sensor networks with limited energy since a large amount of energy is wasted for reporting useless data. This motivates us to propose an energy-efficient in-network area query processing scheme. In our scheme, the monitored area is partitioned into grids, and a unique gray code number is used to represent a Grid ID (GID), which is also an effective way to describe an area. Furthermore, a reporting tree is constructed to process area merging and data aggregations. Based on the properties of GIDs, subareas can be merged easily and useless data can be discarded as early as possible to reduce energy consumption. For energy-efficiently answering continuous queries, we also design an incremental update method to continuously generate query results. In essence, all of these strategies are pivots to conserve energy consumption. With a thorough simulation study, it is shown that our scheme is effective and energy-efficient.