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Radiometric and geologic information indicate a complex history of Cenozoic volcanism and tectonism in the central Andes. K-Ar ages on silicic pyroclastic rocks demonstrate major volcanic activity in central and southern Peru, northern Chile, and adjacent areas during the Early and Middle Miocene, and provide additional evidence for volcanism during the Late Eocene. A provisional outline of tectonic and volcanic events in the Peruvian Andes during the Cenozoic includes: one or more pulses of igneous activity and intense deformation during the Paleocene and Eocene; a period of quiescence, lasting most of Oligocene time; reinception of tectonism and volcanism at the beginning of the Miocene; and a major pulse of deformation in the Middle Miocene accompanied and followed through the Pliocene by intense volcanism and plutonism. Reinception of igneous activity and tectonism at about the Oligocene-Miocene boundary, a feature recognized in other circum-Pacific regions, may reflect an increase in the rate of rotation of the Pacific plate relative to fixed or quasifixed mantle coordinates. Middle Miocene tectonism and latest Tertiary volcanism correlates with and probably is genetically related to the beginning of very rapid spreading at the East Pacific Rise. ?? 1974.
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Episodic Cenozoic volcanism and tectonism in the Andes of Peru