Mechanistic Interpretation of Rift Valley Formation

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Science  05 Sep 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4205, pp. 791-793
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4205.791


The stress distribution on the lithospheric plate due to excess magma pressure is obtained from an exact solution of the three-dimensional theory of elasticity. The analysis indicates that rift valley formation and associated structural and geophysical characteristics can be suitably explained by dike-like intrusions of magma or igneous mush into the lithospheric plate.