This paper is an introduction to the three articles that follow it. It outlines a broad plan of continuing research on the Caribbean region aimed at the problem of origin of island arcs and their development into alpine mountain systems. The present phase of the investigation is concerned largely with the structure and the determination of the exact sequence of events in the history of the eastern portion of the Caribbean so that the geophysical data already in hand may be interpreted. Major results of the last few years are summarized.

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