Abstract

On the North-Provence margin, an omission surface with Rhizocorallium often characterizes the sub-Aptian discontinuity between Eocretaceous carbonates and Aptian-Albian marls. This discontinuity is recorded in various successions described along a palaeoslope joining the Vocontian Basin and the Provence platform, between the Jabron valley in the west and the Var valley in the east. The successions including Aptian marls always exhibit an omission surface with Rhizocorallium. Through this area, the Aptian discontinuity equates to at least part of the Goguel Level. The latter is represented by black shales occurring in the Vocontian Basin at the top of Deshayesi zone and is a regional expression of the global anoxic event OAE1a. Thus, the surface with Rhizocorallium can be regarded, on the North-Provence margin, as a marker coincident with the onset of the anoxic event which, in the Vocontian basin, succeeded to a nannoconid crisis. Representing a short event, the surface is also a marker of various processes: (1) current activity, deduced from a dominant orientation of Rhizocorallium. The Barremian-early Aptian carbonate succession is strongly eroded by the formerly more active currents along the Peipin Channel, south-east of Sisteron; these currents also led to the omission of the Bedoulian (= carbonate Lower Aptian) to upper Valanginian series from the top of the hemipelagic palaeoreliefs in the eastern Castellane arc; (2) tectonic activity in the Lower Aptian, marked by N080 degrees to N100 degrees extension faults and slumping of a semi-lithified carbonate sediment. Slumped material and fault scarps are burrowed with Rhizocorallium; (3) differential lithification of the Barremian limestones which has led to distinctive types of current erosion.

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