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Abstract

Throughout the Cenozoic, the dominant sediment supply to the Faroe–Shetland Basin has been from the SE. However, the volume of sediment in the basin is greater than that supplied from the British Isles’ provenance area alone. The British Isles and Faroes Platform experienced both epeirogenic and local uplift, caused by igneous underplating, mantle thermal variations and compression. A Cenozoic topographic model is presented for the British Isles’ and Faroe Islands’ provenance areas, from which sediment supply rates are calculated. The model includes permanent uplift from igneous underplating, which is estimated from gravity anomaly data, transient regional uplift and a simple elevation-dependent erosion term, under isostatic balance. Even using upside estimates of the British Isles’ Cenozoic denudation and the documented post-Eocene contribution from the Faroe Islands, there is an apparent undersupply of sediment to the basin. The sediment volume balance suggests that around 30% of the Paleocene sediments currently in the basin were sourced from a westerly provenance area, the pre-basalt Faroes Platform terrane or East Greenland.

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