Diabase sills contain material originating from the base of the crust or the upper mantle. As a result they must be fed by dike- or plug-like bodies. The formation of a sill thus represents a major reorientation of the form of the intrusion. Tabular intrusive bodies tend to orient themselves perpendicular to the least compressive principal stress axis as shown by E. M. Anderson. It is suggested that diabase sills form under sedimentary strata in which the two horizontal principal stresses exceed the vertical stress (Sx > Sy > Sz). Such strata act as stress barriers and prevent further ascent of the magma, In order for this situation to occur the sediments must be in compression in the x-direction and confined in the y-direction. The parameter of importance to produce the above state of stress is the effective Poisson's ratio.

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