The North Atlantic Provenance Database: an introduction


Christian Knudsen*1, Martin Sønderholm1, Tjerk Heijboer1, Jeppe Å. Kristensen2 & Dag Bering3


GEUS Bulletin Vol 43 | e2019430301 | Published online: 22 July 2019

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The amount of provenance information available for onshore and offshore sedimentary deposits in the North Atlantic Region is substantial and rapidly increasing. These data provide an improved understanding of reservoir geology (quality, diagenetic issues, regional source-to-sink relations and local stratigraphic correlations), and thereby can reduce hydrocarbon exploration risk. As such, the number of proprietary, industry-related and public research provenance studies has increased considerably in recent years, and the development and use of new analytical techniques has also caused a surge in the number of grains, isotopes and chemical elements analysed in each study. As a result, it is today close to impossible for the individual researcher or petroleum geologist to draw on all existing provenance data. And the vast expansion of data availability demands new and better methods to analyse and visualise large amounts of data in a systematic way

To this end, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) have established a web-based database of provenance data for the North Atlantic area: the North Atlantic Provenance Database. Construction of the database was funded jointly by GEUS and NPD. Future maintenance and further development will be funded by the petroleum industry by subscription to the database. Here, we provide a brief introduction to the database and its future development and expansion. We highlight the current capabilities with an example from East Greenland. 


*Corresponding author: Christian Knudsen. | Email:

1 Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

2 Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden

3 Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, Professor Olav Hansens vei 10, Postboks 600, 4003 Stavanger, Norway


This article is published in the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin – an international, peer-reviewed and open access journal published by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).


Knudsen, C., Sønderholm, M., Heijboer, T., Kristensen, J.Å. & Bering, D. 2019: The North Atlantic Provenance Database: an introduction. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 43, e2019430301.


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Date received: 28/01/2019

Date accepted: 29/05/2019

First published online: 22/07/2019


Database . Sediment provenance . North Atlantic . Greenland . Data

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