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This book discusses the current state of research on the geology of the area between North and South America, with a focus on the origin of the Caribbean Plate. Prevailing understanding is that the Caribbean Plate formed in the Pacific and migrated between the Americas. According to this model, the plate comprises oceanic and volcanic arc rocks. An alternative interpretation considers that the plate formed in place and includes extended continental crust. Hybrids of these ideas also exist.
The papers in this volume provide regional overviews, discussions of the origins of the Caribbean Plate, and consider aspects of local geology arranged in a circum-Caribbean tour and ending in the plate interior. They address tectonics, igneous and metamorphic geology, stratigraphy and palaeontology. The objective of this wide variety of topics is to facilitate debate.