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Sediment provenance studies concern the origin, composition, transportation and deposition of detritus, and are therefore an important part of understanding the links between basinal sedimentation, and hinterland tectonics and unroofing. Such studies can add value at many stages of hydrocarbon exploitation, from identifying regional-scale crustal affinities and sediment-dispersal patterns during the earliest stages of exploration to detailed correlation in producing reservoirs and understanding the impact of mineralogy on reservoir diagenesis.

This Special Publication records 20 of the papers given at the conference titled ‘Sediment Provenance Studies in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production’ organized by the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society of London, and held in London from 5 to 7 December 2011. The observations drawn in this introductory section reflect the volume editors’ experience, presentations at the conference and papers within this volume.

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