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We integrate new stratigraphic, structural, geochemical, geochronological, and magnetostratigraphic data on Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the central Sierra Nevada to arrive at closely inter-related new models for: (1) the paleogeography of the ancestral Cascades arc, (2) the stratigraphic record of uplift events in the Sierra Nevada, (3) the tectonic controls on volcanic styles and compositions in the arc, and (4) the birth of a new plate margin.

Previous workers have assumed that the ancestral Cascades arc consisted of stratovolcanoes, similar to the modern Cascades arc, but we suggest that the arc was composed largely of numerous, very small centers, where...

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