volcano

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We suggest three possible explanations for this: first, the kind of human use might not have contributed to the preservation of remains; second, the remains may have been overlooked by researchers; or third, vulcanism in the Ecuadorian Andes has hindered site discovery (Piperno & Pearsall, 1998).
Brongersma-Sanders (1957) compiled an exhaustive review of marine wildlife "catastrophes" and categorized the causes as vulcanism (volcanic activity), tectonic earth- and seaquake, change in salinity, temperature change, noxious waterbloom, lack of oxygen, and by poisonous gases, severe storms, as connected with spawning runs, by stranding, or uncertain.
As these scientists see it, this advantage offsets what is probably the site's principal draw-back--the fact that over geologic time the NTS and the larger Great Basin region have been racked by earthquakes and vulcanism.