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Ignimbrites, as widespread sheets tens of meters thick, form the Central American Tertiary Ignimbrite Province. Geochemical data were collected from 99 Cenozoic marine ash layers within Caribbean Sea sediments, 76 vitrophyres, and 21 mafic lavas from Nicaragua and Honduras. Two major eruptive periods, one in the Eocene and one in the Miocene, have been broadly identified. 40Ar/39Ar laser fusion ages, determined from sanidine or plagioclase in 10 of the vitrophyre samples, have been interpreted to indicate that the bulk of the younger group of ignimbrites formed largely in the middle Miocene during a 3.5-m.y. period between 16.9...

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