As a result of substantial uplift and erosion during the Cenozoic, much of the Scottish landmass is devoid of Tertiary strata. In eastern Scotland, Tertiary deposits are limited to the Pliocene Buchan Gravels (Flett & Read 1921; Hall, A. M. 1985; McMillan & Merritt 1980) and an ice-rafted block of Miocene clay (Crampton & Carruthers 1914). The only substantial onshore deposits are the lavas and largely pyroclastic sediments of the Hebridean Igneous Province (see Chapter 14).
These volcanic rocks constitute part of the North Atlantic Tertiary Igneous Province, which developed in response to the rise of the North Atlantic mantle plume beneath the continental crust of East Greenland during the Palaeocene. Regional plume-related uplift and associated rift tectonics in the North Atlantic region (Fig. 13.1) led to the creation of a landmass that encompassed much of present-day Scotland and what is now the largely submerged Orkney-Shetland Platform. Uplift and erosion of this landmass, especially the Orkney-Shetland Platform, resulted in substantial sediment supply to the adjacent North Sea and Faeroe-Shetland basins, where the Tertiary successions attain maximum thicknesses of around 3 and 4km, respectively (Fig. 13.2).
The aim of this chapter is to give the reader a general account of the evolution of these sedimentary basins. Because of the long history of hydrocarbon exploration and production in these basins, a very substantial literature has developed, much of it of a highly technical nature. The following selection of references is intended to provide the reader with