Understanding basin sedimentary provenance: evidence from allied phytogeographic and heavy mineral analysis of the Palaeocene of the NE Atlantic
The drilling of hydrocarbon exploration wells in the Faroe–Shetland Basin has provided an expanding sample resource that provides material for testing recently developed palynology-based sediment transport analysis. This technique has been verified by comparison with heavy mineral analysis; both approaches have been used to identify sediment sources and input points along the strike of the Palaeocene West Shetland Platform. Integration of heavy mineral and palynological data has provided a basis for understanding arenaceous and argillaceous sediment distribution and sourcing. In addition to a source from the western, Greenland side of the basin, four argillaceous and four arenaceous sedimentary sources have been identified along the strike of the West Shetland Platform. These vary in temporal and spatial distribution, and thus provide a history of sediment source evolution. This analysis supports a persistent difference in source between the Corona Basin and the Flett and Judd Sub-basins. Although source variation and overlap between basins is evident, transfer zones represent both conduits for and barriers to effective sediment transport. Both palynological and heavy mineral evidence identifies the former presence of Late Namurian–Westphalian strata on the West Shetland Platform, which were removed by subsequent erosion.