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The rocks of the several stages of the Permian are differentiated by a study of the successive periods of deformation during the down-warping of the South Permian basin. The greatest period of diastrophism, which occurred at the end of Clear Fork time, and the unconformity resulting, are used as a regional key to correlation. The widely accepted faunal-reef theory of the origin of the thick limestone masses is questioned. The theory of precipitation of calcium carbonate and calcium magnesium carbonate in shallow waters is offered as the principal source of this limestone. The term "limestone," as used in this paper, includes dolomite. The structural features in the Permian rocks are principally flexures resulting from downwarping of the more negative areas during the accu ulation of the sediments.
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