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Abstract

The Andaman Sea is proposed to have developed from a margin where Palaeogene back-arc collapse closed a mid-Cretaceous back-arc oceanic basin, and resulted in the collision between island arc crust to the west and the western margin of Sundaland. Subsequent east–west to WNW–ESE extension during the Late Eocene–Oligocene resulted in highly extended continental crust underlying the Alcock and Sewell rises, and the East Andaman Basin, and moderately extended crust in the Megui–North Sumatra Basin. As India coupled with western Myanmar, the margin became dominated by dextral strike-slip and NNW–SSE transtensional deformation during the Miocene. The narrow belt of NNW–SSE-directed extension is proposed to have focused on the region where ductile middle crust remained following Late Eocene–Oligocene extension, whereas strike-slip faults are located in the regions of necking where ductile middle crust was considerably thinned by Late Eocene–Oligocene extension. The last phase of NNW–SSE-extension switched between probable Late Miocene–Early Pliocene seafloor spreading, and extension (by dyke intrusion and faulting) in the Alcock and Sewell rises, and then recently back to the spreading centre.

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