The ascent of felsic magmas in dykes

Nick Petford*, John R. Lister, Ross C. Kerr

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    102 Citations (Scopus)


    The results of a thermal and fluid-dynamical analysis are presented that allow geologists to estimate the critical dyke or fracture width (wc) necessary for the transport of felsic magma through the crust without control by solidification. The principal geological variables required to estimate wc are the magmatic viscosity (μ), the density and temperature contrasts (Δρ{variant} and ΔT) between magma and country rock, and the height of ascent H. The results show that for typical values of μ and Δρ{variant}, and for transport distances of 20 to 30 km, the critical dyke width is constrained to lie between about 2 and 20 m.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-168
    Number of pages8
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

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