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Multichannel seismic and potential field data shed light on the final rifting stage in the southern South Atlantic. This was associated with major episodes of magmatism during the Early Cretaceous continental break-up. An asymmetrical simple shear-dominated variable strain rifting model is proposed with the margin asymmetry visible in shelf width, amplitude of magnetic anomalies, orientation of break-up-related sedimentary basins and basement slope angle. Along-margin rotation in spreading- and later rifting-direction from north–south to west–east are of great importance for the asymmetries. Such rotational opening may also explain why the southernmost segments of the South Atlantic are magma starved, with...

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