The recently published BIRPS BANDA deep seismic profiles across the Banda arc-continent collision complex indicate major backthrusting both internal to the volcanic arc and between the volcanic arc and forearc ridge. This is significantly different from the West Timor-Savu Sea and Tanimbar sectors of the arc where backarc thrusting is absent and the interarc region is extensional. The primary control on these very different structural styles is interpreted to be whether the underlying subducted slab is steepening or straightening through tune. Whilst straightening of the slab through buoyant post-collisional rebound induces extension normal to the arc, steepening of the subducted slab is associated with arc-normal compression.

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