University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > A Twenty-first Century View of Plutons

A Twenty-first Century View of Plutons

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Owen Weller.

Granite plutons are fundamental building blocks of the Earth’s crust, and most non-plutonic rocks descended from plutonic ancestors. The centuries-old textbook understanding of plutons, reinforced by myriad “big red blob” cartoons, is that they are the frozen remains of rapidly intruded, km-scale tanks of magma, and that such tanks underlie active volcanoes. In this talk I will argue that this central concept about the Earth is contradicted by a growing body of data from multiple fields; that big-red-blob cartoons are misleading and pernicious; and that as a consequence many of the underpinnings of petrology need to be rethought. Oops! Recognition that plutons are emplaced in small increments and that most are heavily modified by a metamorphic overprint reconciles pluton geology with data from geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, geodetics, and volcanology. It is time to move beyond big red blobs.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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