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 ?
The zircon ages of volcanic products of Suursaari, complying with those of the early and main intrusive phases of the Wiborg rapakivi complex, show that concomitant, quite extensive bimodal volcanism was associated with the emplacement of the Wiborg batholith.
The age relationships between different units of the Wiborg batholith and associated sequences are well established.
Significant volumes of magma migrate through a variety of structural weaknesses and the net result may be a composite batholith that is typical of arc systems.
2005, Characteristics of internal contacts in the Tuolumne Batholith, central Sierra Nevada, California (USA): implications for episodic emplacement and physical processes in a continental arc magma chamber: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.
Brenton pluton) and the South Mountain Batholith, respectively (see above).
New constraints on the age and origin of the Dunbrack Pb-Cu-Zn-Ag deposit, Musquodoboit Batholith, southern Nova Scotia.
The study is performed as a batholith-scale field mapping and as detailed investigations on selected outcrops in the Wiborg rapakivi granite batholith in southeastern Finland.
The study area is located in southeastern Finland and comprises the Wiborg rapakivi granite batholith (Fig.
Granosyenitic, syenitic, and quartz monzonitic rocks (mangeritic rocks after Bogatikov & Birkis, 1973) and associated gabbro-anorthosites and ultramafic rocks are found in the southern part of the batholith (Fig.
1993) and large volumes of metaluminous to peraluminous granite, of which the South Mountain and Musquodoboit batholiths are the largest.
The diorite complex forms the largest and most complex unit of the Fogo Island Batholith.
The beryl occurs in granite pegmatite dykes that cut aplite dykes and quartz monzonite of the White Creek batholith.