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This paper relates the distribution and geochemistry of Neogene volcanic rocks of the Aegean Sea backarc region to geodynamic and tectonic features of the mantle and crust. Previous work has shown that geochemistry and petrogenesis of these rocks resulted from heating of subcontinental lithospheric mantle and lower crust. The regional spatial and temporal distribution of these rocks correlates with subducting-slab tears revealed by published mantle seismic tomography. However, the detailed distribution of volcanic rocks is closely related to active fault tectonics at the time of eruption and thus commonly correlates with local basin subsidence. In general, strike-slip faults provided efficient pathways for relatively unevolved mafic magmas, whereas more evolved trachytic rocks are found where listric faulting predominated.

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