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Miocene tholeiitic basalt flows and intrusions crop out along the Pacific Coast from Seal Rock, Oregon, to Grays Harbor, Washington. Based on extensive mapping of dikes, sills, and lava flows, previous workers proposed that these coastal basalts erupted from local vents. However, based on field associations and petrogenetic considerations, others have suggested that the coastal basalts represent the distal ends of plateau-derived flows of the Columbia River Basalt Group that flowed into estuarine and deltaic environments, invading and deforming soft sediment.

To what depth the coastal basalt dikes extend is a critical test of the alternative hypotheses regarding their origin....

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