Structure and emplacement of high-level magmatic systems: introduction
Despite the continual round of annual conferences, special sessions and symposia that provide ample opportunity for researchers to get together and talk about igneous processes, the origin of laccoliths and sills continue to inspire and confound geologists. In one sense this is surprising. After all, don't we know all we need to know about these rocks by now? As testified by the diverse range of topics covered in this Specical Publication and elsewhere (Breitkreuz & Petford 2004), the answer is clearly no.
This Special Publication contains 13 papers that cover a diversity of perspectives relating to the geology and emplacement of sills, dykes and laccoliths that together help advance our understanding of their formation. Ablay et al. describe a new fracture-mediated intrusion model that attempts to resolve the sequence of magma and rock displacements comprising felsic magma systems coupled with a thermal model for the lower crust, arguing that the system is driven fundamentally by partial melting at source. Thomson & Schofield report on the relationship between sills, dykes, laccoliths and pre-existing basin structure in the NW European Atlantic margin. Using three-dimensional (3D) seismic data, they interpret the sills as predominantly concave-upwards in shape with flat inner saucers connected to an outer rim by a steeply inclined sheet structure. Magma flow patterns, as revealed by opacity rendering, suggest that sills propagate upwards and outwards away from the magma feeder. Magma emplacement below the level of neutral buoyancy would allow sill inflation and country rock deformation. Fracturing of country
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Structure and Emplacement of High-Level Magmatic Systems
There are continual rounds of annual conferences, special sessions and other symposia that provide ample opportunity for researchers to convene and discuss igneous processes. However, the origins of laccoliths and sills continue to inspire and confound geologists.
In one sense, this is surprising. After all, don’t we know all we need to know about these rocks by now? As testified by the diverse range of topics covered in this volume, the answer is clearly ‘no’.
This book contains contributions on physical geology, igneous petrology, volcanology, structural geology, crustal mechanics and geophysics that cover the entire gambit of geological processes associated with the shallow emplacement of magma. High-level intrusions in sedimentary basins can also act as hydrocarbon reservoirs and as sources for thermal maturation.
In drawing together a diversity of perspectives on the emplacement of sills, laccoliths and dykes we hope to advance further our understanding of their behaviour.