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Related to Plutonism: volcanism


Pertaining to the processes associated with pluton formation.
The theory that the earth formed by solidification of a molten mass.
A disease caused by exposure to plutonium, manifested in experimental animals by graying of the hair, liver degeneration, and tumor formation.



a theory popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries assigning a major role to internal forces in the geological history of the earth.

Plutonism, as a definite system of views, was introduced by J. Hutton (1788, 1795). According to Hutton, external forces, such as water and organisms, help to alter the relief, breaking down rock and accumulating as stratified sediments on the sea bottom. The marine sediments, in sinking into the deeper zones of the earth’s crust, are crystallized and compacted, collected into folds, and broken by faults. This is followed by convulsive uplifting, usually accompanied by the intrusion of molten masses that harden to form igneous rock (granites).

Having returned to the surface, the rock is again subjected to decomposition and redeposition, and the circulation of matter commences again. Thus, the plutonism of Hutton was an important component in the hypothesis of the cyclical change in the earth’s crust. This hypothesis derived from Hutton’s one-sided notion of the constancy of geological forces in terms of their type, speed of action, and strength of manifestation.

Plutonism was in direct opposition to neptunism, which rejected any significance of internal geological factors. In the early 19th century, the volcanic origin of basalts was proved, as was the role of the internal energy of the earth in volcanic processes and earthquakes. These developments contributed to the general rejection of neptunism. Some members of the plutonist school ascribed decisive significance to volcanic phenomena in the history of the earth’s surface, as did such representatives of the school of volcanism and catastrophism as A. von Humboldt and L. von Buch. The volcanists and plutonists maintained views that differed significantly, but they were united in their recognition of the major role of the inner forces in the earth’s history. This conclusion remains valid up to the present.


Belousov, V. V. “‘Teoriia Zemli’ Dzhemsa Gettona (k 150-letiiu so dnia opublikovaniia).” Priroda, 1938, nos. 7–8.
Tikhomirov, V. V., and V. E. Khain. Kratkii ocherk istorii geologii Moscow, 1956.


References in periodicals archive ?
Their chemical volcanic-arc affinities are consistent with this model, but it is difficult to envisage why such plutonism would be so sparsely distributed over such a wide area.
45 Ga anorthosite-mangerite-charnockite-granite (AMCG) plutonism in Lithuania: implications for the Mesoproterozoic evolution of the East European Craton.
Papers cover such topics as the Himalayan Model of subduction and collision, microdiamonds in Kazakhstan dolomite marble, anew metamorphic terrane in China, fluid infusion from drill cores, mantle replacement, dating of zircon, tectonic division in a pressure region, low-grade metamorphic rocks in an orogenic belt, isotropic compositions of carbonaceous material, subduction-related Jurassic plutonism, mafic and utramafic bodies in Japan, ophiolite in the Coast Range of California, evidence from fluid mobility in the Franciscan Complex, and evidence of magma paragenesis gained from garnets.
Plutonism is widespread in this segment of the basin, and it varies from stocks to batholiths; compositions range from diorite to high-silica granite.
Compositional variation of plutonism in the Coastal Maine Magmatic Province: mode of origin and tectonic setting.
The geology of the Western United States is the overarching topic of a group of papers discussing temporal changes in the deformation mode of the Colorado River extensional corridor and the timing and nature of tertiary plutonism and extension in the Grouse Creek Mountains of Utah, among other topics.
2002, Evolution of the southern Abitibi greenstone belt based on U-Pb geochronology: autochthonous volcanic construction followed by plutonism, regional deformation, and sedimentation: Precambrian Research, v.
2002, Evolution of the southern Abitibi greenstone belt based on U-Pb geochronology: authochthonous volcanic construction followed by plutonism, regional deformation and sedimentation: Precambrian Research, v.
Episodic Ordovician-Silurian plutonism in the Topsails igneous terrane, western Newfoundland.
Progressive rifling, accompanied by voluminous volcanism and plutonism (back-arc setting?
The Ajo mining district, Pima County, Arizona: evidence for middle Tertiary detachment faulting, plutonism, volcanism, and hydrothermal alteration.
Re-Os and U-Pb geochronology of the Clear Creek, Dublin Gulch, and Mactung deposits, Tombstone Gold Belt, Yukon, Canada: absolute timing relationships between plutonism and mineralization.