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The geological development of Panama’s isthmus resulted from intermittent magmatism and oceanic plate interactions over approximately the past 100 m.y. Geochemical data from ~300 volcanic and intrusive rocks sampled along the Cordillera de Panama document this evolution and are used to place it in a tectonic framework. Three distinct trace-element signatures are recognized in the oldest basement rocks: (1) oceanic basement of the Caribbean large igneous province (CLIP basement) displays flat trace-element patterns, (2) CLIP terranes show enriched ocean-island basalt (OIB) signatures, and (3) CLIP rocks exhibit arc signatures. The Chagres igneous complex represents the oldest evidence of arc magmatism...

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