Many magmatic provinces (mainly flood basalts) occur along continental margins and are associated with initiation and early development of continental rifting. The causes of this magmatic activity are yet unclear and frequently related with the early activity of hotspots. The hotspots would correspond to the anomalously warm material rising from the lower mantle through conduits, the so called mantle plumes. Many hotspots are supposed to have begun with massive outpourings of basaltic magmas over broad regions (e.g. Parana Basin). Subsequent volcanism over the plume conduit produces the tracks that connect flood basalts to presently active hotspots.


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