noun[mass noun] Geology
1The formation of intrusive igneous rocks by solidification of magma beneath the earth’s surface.
- During Early Cretaceous times, there was a significant period of plutonism and crustal growth in the magmatic arc.
- During the mid-Cretaceous a phase of plutonism in Palmer Land caused uplift and erosion that supplied sediment from the arc.
- The coincidence in timing of plutonism and extension along the Zuccale fault superficially suggests that thermal weakening could play a part in facilitating low-angle fault movement as proposed for the Capanne fault.
1.1 (Plutonism) historical The theory (now accepted) that rocks such as granite were formed by solidification from the molten state, as proposed by James Hutton and others, rather than by precipitation from the sea. Compare with Neptunism.
- Neptunism was eventually supplanted by ‘Plutonism’, the belief that the rocks and continents came about through the outwelling of volcanic material (larva, which hardened into volcanic rock).
- noun& adjective ( historical)
- Example sentences
- This view was soon challenged by the Plutonists, who emphasized the importance of terrestrial heat and volcanic activity in the formation of crystalline rocks.
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