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A palaeogeographical reconstruction of the South American and African continents back to anomaly C34 (84 Ma) brings together the Rio Grande Rise (RGR) and the central portion of the Walvis Ridge (WR), thus the RGR–WR aseismic ridges may have a common origin. If the construction of the RGR–WR basaltic plateau took place mainly between 89 and 78 Ma, as indicated by the ages of the basalts sampled by DSDP wells, then the basaltic magmas are the result of an ‘on-ridge’ volcanism. Once separated, the normal sea-floor spreading and thermal subsidence of the RGR and WR ridges continued until approximately...

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