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Abstract

Detrital garnet suites have been demonstrated to be reliable indicators of the mineralogical and lithological characteristics of sediment source areas. This study applies garnet analysis to the Paleocene to Eocene Sele Formation deep-water sandstone units of the central North Sea. These stratigraphic units are economically important as they represent one of the main hydrocarbon reservoir intervals in this mature basin. The routing of turbidity currents into the Central Graben has been demonstrated to be related to axial fans (ultimately sourced from Lewisian and Moine basement rocks and Triassic sandstones to the NW) and lateral fans (ultimately sourced from the Dalradian basement rocks to the west). Garnet analysis suggests the majority of samples can be attributed to the axial fan system and that the lateral system contributed little to sandstone deposition east of the Gannet Fields. This contradicts previous seismic mapping work, which suggested that the lateral fan system dominated sedimentation as far east as the Merganser Field. This reinterpretation is potentially important for our understanding of sediment routing and its impact on the distribution of reservoir quality, particularly as this is believed to relate directly to proximity to the shelf.

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