Granite formation: Stepwise accumulation of melt or connected networks?

Paul D. Bons, Jens K. Becker, Marlina A. Elburg, Kristjan Urtson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Several authors have proposed that granitic melt accumulation and transport from the source region occurs in networks of connected melt-filled veins and dykes. These models envisage the smallest leucosomes as rivulets that connect to feed larger dykes that form the rivers through which magma ascends through the sub-solidus crust. This paper critically reviews this rivulets-feeding-rivers model. It is argued that such melt-filled networks are unlikely to develop in nature, because melt flows and accumulates well before a fully connected network can be established. In the alternative stepwise accumulation model, flow and accumulation is transient in both space and time. Observations on migmatites at Port Navalo, France, that were used to support the existence of melt-filled networks are discussed and reinterpreted. In this interpretation, the structures in these migmatites are consistent with the collapse and draining of individual melt batches, supporting the stepwise accumulation model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Port Navalo
  • leucosomes
  • melt accumulation
  • melt networks
  • migmatite
  • stepwise accumulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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