Primary and reworked pyroclastic material in the Ellensburg Formation of central Washington records middle and late Miocene volcanism in the Cascade Range despite the absence of correlative volcanics within the volcanic chain. Volcanics marking sources for Ellensburg detritus were eroded during late Neogene uplift. Facies patterns and paleocurrent data suggest that the bulk of the volcaniclastics were derived from a source near Bumping Lake; a K-Ar date for an intrusion in this area supports this conclusion. Depositional patterns and characteristics of the detritus allow hypothetical reconstruction of the style of volcanism during this period. Eruptive episodes began with modest-sized Plinian eruptions followed by extended periods of dome growth. Aggradation in adjacent sedimentary basins occurred principally in response to introduction of large volumes of lithic pyroclastic material during eruptive episodes.

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