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Rifting and early evolution of ancient ocean basins: the record of the Mesozoic Tethys and of the Galicia-Newfoundland margins

ABSTRACT

Although of different age, the undeformed Cretaceous Iberia/Newfoundland margins and the relics of the Jurassic Briançonnais/Adriatic margins preserved in the Alps document a similar spatial and temporal evolution of rifting suggesting that the evolution of both pairs of margins was controlled by the same processes. Rifting appears to depend strongly on the thermal history of the lithosphere, which controls the rheology and consequently also the structural evolution of the margin. The tectonic evolution of non-volcanic margins appears to be distinctly different from that of volcanic ones.