Granite magma formation, transport and emplacement in the Earth's crust

Nature. 2000 Dec 7;408(6813):669-73. doi: 10.1038/35047000.


The origin of granites was once a question solely for petrologists and geochemists. But in recent years a consensus has emerged that recognizes the essential role of deformation in the segregation, transport and emplacement of silica-rich melts in the continental crust. Accepted petrological models are being questioned, either because they require unrealistic rheological behaviours of rocks and magmas, or because they do not satisfactorily explain the available structural or geophysical data. Provided flow is continuous, mechanical considerations suggest that--far from being geologically sluggish--granite magmatism is a rapid, dynamic process operating at timescales of < or = 100,000 years, irrespective of tectonic setting.