One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, relating to, or designating volcanic rocks and phenomena dating from the Tertiary period (up to about 65 million years ago) to the present time (contrasted with palaeovolcanic). Now often: specifically designating or relating to zones of recent volcanic activity.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Naturalist. From neo- + volcanic [noun], after German neovulkanisch (H. Rosenbusch Mikroskopische Physiogr. der Massigen Gesteine (ed. 2) II. 6).
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