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Volcanoes and Plutons

Dike and Sill

• Dikes are small (<20 m wide) shallow
intrusions that show a discordant relationship
to the rocks in which they intrude. Discordant
means that they cut across preexisting
structures. They may occur as isolated bodies
or may occur as swarms of dikes emanating
from a large intrusive body at depth
• Sills are also small (<50 m thick) shallow
intrusions that show a concordant relationship
with the rocks that they intrude. Sills usually
are fed by dikes, but these may not be
exposed in the field
• Laccoliths are somewhat large intrusions that
result in uplift and folding of the preexisting
rocks above the intrusion. They are also
concordant types of intrusions
Batholiths & Stocks
• Batholiths are very large intrusive bodies, usually so
large that there bottoms are rarely exposed.
Sometimes they are composed of several smaller

• Stocks are smaller bodies that are likely fed from

deeper level batholiths. Stocks may have been feeders
for volcanic eruptions, but because large amounts of
erosion are required to expose a stock or batholith, the
associated volcanic rocks are rarely exposed
Igneous Structures

• Intrusive (Plutonic) • Extrusive (Volcanic)

– Magma cools slowly at depth – Magma cools quickly at surface
– Characteristic rock texture – Characteristic rock textures
– Characteristic structures – Characteristic structures

Intrusive Igneous Structures
• Contacts (boundary
between two rock bodies)
can be:
– Concordant
• Does not cross cut country
rock (surrounding rock)
structure, bedding, or
metamorphic fabric
• Ex: laccolith, sill
– Discordant
• Cross cuts country rock
• Ex: dike, batholith, stock

Igneous Structures
• Intrusive
– Batholith
– Stock
– Lopolith
– Laccolith
– Volcanic
– Sill
– Dike
• Extrusive
– Lava flow or
– Volcano
(many types)
– Crater
– Caldera
– Fissure
Intrusive Igneous Structures:
Large Scale
• Major scale intrusive bodies: Plutons
– Batholith: >100 km2 in map area (usually discordant)
– Stock: <100 km2 in map area
– Lopolith: dish-shaped layered intrusive
rocks (concordant)

Intrusive Igneous Structures:
Intermediate Scale
• Concordant intrusives
– Sill: tabular shape
– Laccolith: mushroom-shaped
– Roof pendant (remaining country
• Discordant intrusives
– Dike: tabular shape
– Volcanic neck: cylindrical

Intrusive Igneous Structures:
Small Scale
• Apophyses:
– Irregular dikes extending from
• Veins:
– Tabular body filling a fracture
(filled with 1-2 minerals)
• Xenoliths:
– Unrelated material in an
igneous body
• Autoliths:
– Genetically related inclusions
(related igneous material)
Volcanic Hazards
• ~500 million people live in
high hazard regions
• Eruptions and hazards are
largely predictable
• Main hazards:
– Tephra (mainly ash)
– Lava flows
– Pyroclastic flows
– Lahar
– Avalanche/landslide
– Volcanic gas
– Tsunami
– Climate change