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40Ar/39Ar dating has facilitated a substantial reinterpretation of the volcanic evolution of Montserrat. Three volcanic centres with non-overlapping volcanic activity are identified: Silver Hills (c. 2600 to c. 1200 ka); Centre Hills (at least c. 950 to c. 550 ka); South Soufrière Hills–Soufrière Hills (at least c. 170 ka to present). The geochronological data show that old xenocrysts are common in the porphyritic andesite, implying that reliable ages are best obtained by dating the groundmass. Soufrière Hills evolved from early eruptions dominated by two-pyroxene andesite to eruptions of hypersthene–hornblende andesite at c. llOka. Between the two...

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