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Journal Articles International Journal of Earth Sciences Year : 2012

Granite magma migration and emplacement along thrusts

Domenico Montanari
  • Function : Author
Thomas J. Kalakay
  • Function : Author


This paper investigates the influence exerted by brittle tectonic structures in the emplacement of granite plutons in contractional settings. We address both cases where contractional tectonics and magma intrusion are (1) coeval, to study how active contractional tectonics controls the transport of magma, and (2) diachronous, to study the role of pre-existing structures on the transport of magma. In light of new experimental models, we show that magma can rise along thrusts ramps and flats. This phenomenon occurs for both low-viscosity magma (basalts to andesite) and high-viscosity magma (dry granite). The experimental results also allow the evaluation of the role played by magma viscosity in determining pluton geometries. In addition, a review of literature demonstrates a spatial and causal relationship between granites and thrusts and highlights the geometric control of magma pathways in the pluton final shape. The abundance of subhorizontal and tabular granitic intrusions indicates that the location of inflating granitic sills along thrust flats can be common. We argue that active and pre-existing flats-and-ramps thrusts provide a preferential continuous planar anisotropy susceptible to become a granitic magma migration pathway.


Earth Sciences

Dates and versions

insu-00738942 , version 1 (05-10-2012)



Eric C. Ferré, Olivier Galland, Domenico Montanari, Thomas J. Kalakay. Granite magma migration and emplacement along thrusts. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2012, 101 (7), pp.1673-1688. ⟨10.1007/s00531-012-0747-6⟩. ⟨insu-00738942⟩
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