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Four different sand types (termed FSP1, FSP2, FSP3, and FSP4) have been recognized in the Paleocene succession of the Faroe-Shetland Basin, NE Atlantic, on the basis of conventional heavy mineral analysis, major element geochemistry of garnet, trace element geochemistry of rutile, U-Pb dating of detrital zircon, and palynofloral analysis. Sand types FSP1, FSP2, and FSP4 were all sourced from the eastern margin of the basin, whereas FSP3 was supplied from the west. No single technique discriminates all four sand types. Conventional heavy mineral analysis discriminates FSP3 from the other three sand types but does not discriminate FSP1, FSP2, and FSP4. Garnet geochemistry distinguishes FSP1, FSP2 and FSP4, but FSP3 garnet populations overlap those of FSP1 and FSP2. Rutile geochemistry distinguishes FSP2 from FSP1 and FSP4 but cannot be easily applied to FSP3 owing to the scarcity of rutile in this sand type. Zircon age spectra in FSP1, FSP2, and FSP4 are similar to one another, but FSP4 can be recognized on the basis of a higher proportion of Archean zircons. Some of the individual techniques have certain limitations: e.g., one of the key conventional heavy mineral parameters is the presence of clinopyroxene, but this is not always reliable owing to the instability of this mineral during burial diagenesis. Likewise, garnet geochemistry cannot be applied to the most deeply buried sandstones in the Faroe-Shetland Basin owing to complete garnet dissolution. Furthermore, care is required when interpreting garnet data from sandstones that have undergone partial garnet dissolution, as there may have been modification of the range of garnet compositions as a result of the greater instability of Ca-rich garnets compared with Ca-poor types. Finally, the “Greenland flora,” which occurs in association with sand type FSP3, has been found in some wells that lack FSP3 sandstones. This discrepancy is attributed to the difference in hydrodynamic behavior of palynomorphs compared with sand particles. This chapter illustrates the importance of adopting an integrated approach, as significant detail would have been lost if only one technique had been applied, and integration of a number of different techniques overcomes limitations associated with individual approaches. An integrated approach also builds a more comprehensive picture of source area characteristics.

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