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Seaward dipping reflector or SDR complexes comprise piles of individual basaltic flows and interbedded sediments that are thought to have formed subaerially at the flanks of tholeiitic shield volcanoes like those in the Afar or at larger magmatic complexes like Iceland. During the rift process, these flows subsequently acquire very steep true dips (up to 25°) almost always in the seaward direction. Past explanations for the acquisition of these dips involve progressive burial, loading and flexure by subsequent flows (e.g., Pálmason, 1980), or listric, landward-dipping faulting and magmatic dilation (Geoffroy, 2005). These factors no...

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