batholith

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batholith,

enormous mass of intrusive igneous rock, that is, rock made of once-molten material that has solidified below the earth's surface (see rockrock,
aggregation of solid matter composed of one or more of the minerals forming the earth's crust. The scientific study of rocks is called petrology. Rocks are commonly divided, according to their origin, into three major classes—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
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). Batholiths usually are granitic (see granitegranite,
coarse-grained igneous rock of even texture and light color, composed chiefly of quartz and feldspars. It usually contains small quantities of mica or hornblende, and minor accessory minerals may be present.
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) in composition, have steeply inclined walls, have no visible floors, and commonly extend over areas of thousands of square miles. Batholiths are formed either as one large mass or many smaller masses at great depths in the earth's crust and are exposed at the surface only after considerable erosion of the overlying mountain mass. They are commonly associated with lithospheric plate boundaries, where the interactions between plates can produce sufficient heat to melt crustal rocks on a large scale and form batholiths (see plate tectonicsplate tectonics,
theory that unifies many of the features and characteristics of continental drift and seafloor spreading into a coherent model and has revolutionized geologists' understanding of continents, ocean basins, mountains, and earth history.
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). One of the largest single batholiths in North America is the Coast Range batholith of W Canada and Alaska, encompassing an area of about 73,000 sq mi (182,500 sq km). Important batholiths in the United States include the Idaho batholith, 18,000 sq mi (45,000 sq km), and the Sierra Nevada batholith, 16,000 sq mi (40,000 sq km).

batholith

[′bath·ə‚lith]
(geology)
A body of igneous rock, 40 square miles (100 square kilometers) or more in area, emplaced at great or intermediate depth in the earth's crust.
References in periodicals archive ?
Batholith emplacement, by definition, takes place deep within the crust under conditions which are difficult to determine precisely, and even more difficult to scale accurately in experiment or simulation, rendering dubious the applicability of conclusions reached from experimental and modelling studies.
The geological evidence relating to mineralization with Kohistan batholiths points to an early Tertiary age i.
Based on field relationships and geochronological data, McLeod (1990) divided the Saint George Batholith into the following units from oldest to youngest (Fig.
In this contribution we present new U-Pb LA-ICP-MS zircon geochronology data and geochemistry reconnaissance from the Mocoa Batholith and Saldana Formation in southern Colombia.
The Spanish Central System (SCS) batholith is mainly formed by more than 100 granitic intrusions (e.
The major and trace element data and CIPW norms composition of the volcanic rocks of BASD and IVC / TVF of the Ghizar Formation and diorites of the Kohistan batholiths in the study area are given in Table 2 and are graphically presented in Figures 4-6.
a) Karakoram Metamorphic Complex, b) Karakoram Batholith and c) The Northern Karakoram Terrane.
Because it cannot be plumbed, every batholith is also an abyssolith.
With contributions from geologists and earth scientists from throughout the United States, the title contains separate sections for papers on the topics of ophiolites, arcs, and batholiths.
Field studies of large batholiths in arc regimes show that they represent the vestiges of voluminous magma chambers in the middle and upper crust (e.
As in the case of other large rapakivi granite batholiths, considerable effect of crustal thinning--in scale of 10 km--has occurred in the area of the Riga batholith (Puura & Floden 1999, 2000).