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Stratigraphy of the Haut Var Paleogene continental series (Northeastern Provence, France): New insight on the age of the ‘Sables bleutés du Haut Var’ Formation.

Abstract : The age of the Paleogene deposits of the Haut Var (Provence, France) has been the subject of debate. Particularly, the “Calcaire à Bithynies” and the “Sables bleutés” units were ascribed either to the early Eocene or to the Oligocene. A stratigraphical clarification is required in order to precise the paleogeographical relationships of the Haut Var Paleogene sedimentary series with coeval deposits in the neighbouring southern Provence and Subalpine regions and other European domains. The study area is characterized by tectonically separated synclines and grabens filled in by continental Paleogene deposits. Detailed mapping and lithostratigraphical logging, sedimentological and microfacies analysis have been undertaken in order to provide a reliable stratigraphical framework. Biostratigraphical subdivisions were established based on five different fossil groups: mammals, charophytes, gastropods, ostracodes, and foraminifers. Accordingly, five formations are distinguished and dated: “Calcaire à Microcodium” and “Brèche à Microcodium” (Danian); “Marnes à oeufs d’oiseaux” (Selandian(?)-earliest Ypresian); ‘Sables bleutés du Haut Var’ (early-late(?) Ypresian); and “Bourdas conglomerates” (Rupelian). Particular emphasis is given to the study of the controversial ‘Sables bleutés du Haut Var’ Formation. As a result, correlations have been established between the different syncline and graben areas where Paleocene-Eocene and Oligocene deposits occur. Terrestrial deposits (carbonate paleosols and piedmont alluvial fans) took place during Paleocene times, while fluvial (cross-bedded sands) and lacustrine carbonate deposits developed in a foreland compressional intracontinental basin surrounded by emerged areas and tectonic highs during the early Ypresian. Paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical analysis strengthen the view that a relative isolation characterized the Haut Var area during the early Eocene, probably enhancing episodes of brackish water or evaporitic sedimentation and gastropod endemism. During the late Eocene Pyrenean-Provence tectonic phase, the E-W trending Haut Var overthrusts have been emplaced posteriorly to the deposition of the ‘Sables bleutés du Haut Var’ Fm. Finally, coarse alluvial fan and local lacustrine carbonate sedimentation occurred during the Oligocene in narrow N-S trending subsident extensional grabens associated with the N-S trending Barjols Triassic uplift.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 4:05:40 PM
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Jean Philip, Monique Vianey-Liaud, Carles Martin-Closas, Rodolphe Tabuce, Philippe Léonide, et al.. Stratigraphy of the Haut Var Paleogene continental series (Northeastern Provence, France): New insight on the age of the ‘Sables bleutés du Haut Var’ Formation.. Geobios, Elsevier Masson, 2017, ⟨10.1016/j.geobios.2017.06.002⟩. ⟨hal-01574331⟩

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