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The structure, stratigraphy and magmatic history of northern Peru, Ecuador and Colombia are only adequately explained by Pacific-origin models for the Caribbean Plate. Inter-American models for the origin of the Caribbean Plate cannot explain the contrasts between the Northern Andes and the Central Andes. Persistent large magnitude subduction, arc magmatism and compressional deformation typify the Central Andes, while the Northern Andes shows back-arc basin and passive margin formation followed by dextral oblique accretion of oceanic plateau basalt and island arc terranes with Caribbean affinity. Cretaceous separation between the Americas resulted in the development of a NNE-trending dextral–transpressive boundary between...

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