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Boreholes drilled by oil companies have yielded a wealth of data from the WCSB.

Some of these data may be obtained from surface exposures. However, most commonly in basins in the middle of the continent and passive margin settings on the present continental margin, the information can only come from wells drilled by the petroleum industry or from mineral exploration drill cores in sedimentary basins. Studies of sediment provenance are of particular importance in establishing links between terranes.

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