We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Growth of plutons by floor subsidence : implications for rates of emplacement, intrusion spacing and melt-extraction mechanisms.

Cruden, A. R. and McCaffrey, K. J. W. (2001) 'Growth of plutons by floor subsidence : implications for rates of emplacement, intrusion spacing and melt-extraction mechanisms.', Physics and chemistry of the earth, part A: solid earth & geodesy., 26 (4-5). pp. 303-315.


Geophysical and field-based studies indicate that granitic phtons occur as either tabular (disk) or wedge (funnel) shapes whose length (L) to thickness (7) ratio is controlled by the empirical power law, T = 0.6(+0.15)L0.6(~.l). The dimensions of phtons are selfsimilar to other natural subsidence phenomena (calderas, ice cauldrons, sinkholes, ice pits) and it is proposed that they grow in a similar fashion by withdrawal of material (melt) from an underlying source, which is then transferred to the growing pluton within the crust. Experimental studies show that growth of subsidence structures occurs by vertical inflation >> horizontal elongation of an initial depression with L = width of the source region. If pluton growth is modelled in the same way, the empirical power law relating T and L defines limits for phton growth that are imposed by the width, thickness and degree of partial melting from a lower crustal source. Several growth modes that predict testable internal structural patterns are identified for plutons, depending on whether they are tabular or wedge-shaped, grow by continuous or pulsed magma delivery and whether magma is accreted from bottom to top, or vice versa. Rates of pluton growth are geologically fast (hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years) if magma supply is effectively continuous, but can also take millions of years if the time between magma delivery events is much longer than magma injection events. Plutons formed by melt extraction from an area directly beneath require large degrees of partial melting and or very thick sources. Lower degrees of partial melting and thinner sources are permitted when melt extraction occurs over a larger region, which can lead to the formation of spaced plutons. Tabular pluton growth will tend to favour widely spaced plutons, unless degrees of partial melting in the source are high. Wedge-shaped plutons can form much closer together and require lower degrees of partial melting. These results are in general agreement with current geophysical, petrological Correspondence to: A. R. Cruden and experimental estimates of partial melting in the lower continental crust.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:April 2001
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar