Seismic mapping of the Faroe–Shetland Basin from three-dimensional surveys provides striking evidence for uplift of the southern Faroe–Shetland Basin in the late Palaeocene and rapid subsidence in the early Eocene. The seismic reflector at the base of the Balder Formation follows a regional unconformity surface, which records erosion of a major branching drainage network into the underlying Palaeocene section, following a major base level fall. The topography of this surface was subsequently in-filled following marine transgression, and deep-water conditions returned to the basin in the early Eocene. We attribute base level changes to the influence of the proto-Iceland mantle plume beneath the lithosphere, providing support until continental break-up west of the Faroe Islands.

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