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H M Research Norway strives to provide its clients with detailed insight into their provenance queries in clastic reservoir sequences.

Heavy mineral analysis can provide a unique window into many factors within and between sedimentary basins, from sand body distribution to sediment transport pathways. This is a result of heavy minerals being diagnostic of sandstone provenance. The method can be used as a stand-alone technique but in other areas can be complimentary to other techniques.  


Heavy mineral analysis can be carried on many types of samples providing they are a sandstones. A heavy liquid separates the required minerals from the lighter minerals such as quartz and feldspar. The samples are then analysed using some or all of the following techniques:

Optical petrographic analysis

This provides an overview of the heavy minerals species present and from this, provenance sensitive stable mineral ratios are produced.

Mineral chemistry analysis

Following the optical petrography, further information is often needed and this can be acquired from the geochemistry of some mineral populations, primarily garnet and tourmaline but there are alternatives, including rutile and apatite analysis.

Zircon age determination using U-Pb

This technique allows for sge determination of zircons in a sediment, which can be key to narrowing down a provenance area.

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