Mapping of the Ethiopian rift and Afar margins revealed the existence of Tertiary dike swarms. The structural relations of these swarms and the fed lava pile to monoclinal warping of the margins partly reflect a style of continental margin tectonics found in other parts of the world. In Ethiopia, however, conjugate dike trends appear to be unusually strongly developed. Relation of dikes to subsequent margin faulting is ambiguous, and there are instances where the two phenomena are spatially separate and of differing trends. There is no evidence for lateral migration with time of dike injection toward the rift zone. No separate impingement of Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and African rift system stress fields on the Ethiopian region can be demonstrated from the Tertiary dike swarms. Rather, a single, regional paleostress field existed, suggestive of a focus beneath the central Ethiopian plateau. This stress field was dominated by tension: there is no cogent evidence for shearing along the rift margins. A gentle compression along the rift floor is indicated. A peculiar sympathy of dike hade directions at given localities is evident.