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Abstract

Poly-phase deformation of a compressional nature is a common feature in the post-rift evolution of passive margins and rifts. The compressional mode of deformation in these sedimentary basins, originally formed by extension in an intraplate setting, is characterized by a spectrum of spatial wavelengths spanning several tens of kilometres up to several hundreds of kilometres. The actual mode of compressional deformation appears to be strongly affected by the rheological structure of the underlying lithosphere, the level of the regional intraplate stress field, and the geometry of the rifted basin configuration prior to late-stage compressional reactivation. The interplay of plumes and intraplate compressional deformation can lead to temporal transitions from basin inversion to lithospheric folding. These modes of deformation lead to substantial differential vertical motions, late-stage anomalies in subsidence and uplift patterns. The development of innovative combinations of numerical and analogue modelling techniques is the key to differentiating different modes of compressional deformation of passive margins and extensional basins.

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