Abstract

In southern France, whereas the most complete Permian succession crops out in the Lodeve basin (Languedoc), the most diversified can be studied in the Provence basins, constituting a continuous belt around the Variscan Les Maures Massif. From the SW to the NE they are: Toulon-Cuers, Le Luc, Bas-Argens, and Esterel basins. From the two first, correlations can be readily made with the Permian succession of the Nurra "basin" (northwest Sardinia); on other hand correlations are much more difficult towards the Bas-Argens and Esterel. That conveys the coexistence during the Permian of two distinct fluvial drainage systems merging in the Draguignan area before to trend northwards, in a landscape concealed at present below a thick Mesozoic cover. The relatively thin Triassic siliciclastics (Buntsandstein), Smithian? to Anisian in age, were deposited by a totally different drainage system, flowing towards the SW. In this paper, after a general survey of the geological history of southern Provence, the contributions of different disciplines to the present knowledge of the Permian series are presented. Then follows, for each of the two fluvial systems, a short description of each lithostratigraphical unit, with special emphasis on presentation and discussion of the dating elements gathered up to now.

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