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Abstract

Crustal melting occurs at the higher grades of metamorphism. Migmatites reflect crustal anatexis without necessary additional heat supply. Granites usually result from crustal melting resulting from ‘hot’ geotherms, or reflect an external heat supply.

The commonest mechanisms of crustal melting are: (i) decompression of crust thickened into mantle in convergent orogens; (ii) asthenosphere upwelled beneth the crust in extensional orogens; (iii) massive invasion or underplating of crust by mantle magma generated by mantle decompression. This paper considers some of the processes governing timescales and lengthscales of these various magmatic events with particular view to determining the intensity and duration of crustal melting, and relationships between the rates of melt extraction, ascent and emplacement.

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