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The relationship between Cenozoic igneous rocks and the geodynamic evolution of the Aegean region is synthesized. A simplified palinspastic reconstruction of the region is attempted for the last 50 m.y., on the basis of published syntheses of paleomagnetic data and estimates of amounts of extension and of shortening in nappes. Variability in magma genesis results from hydrous melting of the asthenospheric mantle wedge during subduction, thermal melting of enriched subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a result of rising asthenosphere, and decompression melting of rising asthenosphere. Break-off of a subducting slab or lithospheric delamination occurred several times during the earlier Cenozoic as...

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