dimensional evolution of basin linkage through fault propagation, the evolution of drainage and drainage catchments and the effects of changes in climate and sea/lake level. In particular, the processes of fault propagation, growth, linkage and death are major tectonic controls on basin architecture. Current theoretical and experimental models of fault linkage and the direction of fault growth can be tested using observational evidence from the earliest stages of rift development. Basin linkage by burial or breaching of crossover basement ridges is the dominant process whereby hydrologically closed rifts evolve into open ones. Nontectonic effects arising from climate, sea or lake level change are responsible for major changes in basin-scale sedimentation patterns. Major gaps in our understanding of rift basins remain because of current inadequacies in sediment, fault and landscape dating.