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The dynamics of the erosive central Andean forearc vary significantly along strike. In northern Chile at 20°S–27°S, and particularly at 22°S–25°S, the forearc in the Coastal Cordillera has been undergoing extension since at least the Pliocene, reactivating steep E-dipping faults of the Mesozoic Atacama fault system. This has been explained by forearc uplift driven by underplating, shallow slab dip, subduction of bathymetric features, and elastic rebound during the earthquake cycle. These processes, however, are active over a much wider area of the central Andean forearc than Coastal Cordillera extension and therefore cannot explain why extension is localized to the northern...

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