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Restoration of plate consumption recorded by Caribbean arc volcanism reveals probable plate movements that led to the emplacement of the proto–Caribbean plate into the present Caribbean region and provided the space necessary to accommodate the rotation of the Yucatán Peninsula concurrent with the opening of the Gulf of Mexico between ca. 170 Ma and 150 Ma. Fault movement of the Yucatán, caused by edge-driven processes, resulted in counterclockwise rotation, as shown by paleomagnetic studies. Restoration of Yucatán rotation necessitates the presence of a paleogeography different from the current distribution of the Greater and Lesser Antilles.

During emplacement of the Caribbean...

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