The Formation and Cooling of Dikes

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Published in: Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 81–90, 1991.

© Creation Science Foundation ACN 010 120 304. All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

When molten (igneous) rock forces its way, or is squeezed up, into a vertical or near-vertical crack in other rocks, be they flat-lying sedimentary rocks such as sandstone or shale, or folded metamorphic rocks such as schist or gneiss, or other igneous rocks, the crack is usually forced apart and the molten rock cools in the space to form a tabular igneous intrusion cutting across the surrounding rocks that is known as a dike (or dyke, depending on which country you live in!). The molten rock (magma) crystallizes as it cools, the most common dike rocks being diabase (or dolerite), basalt, and fine-grained granitic rocks. Although dike formation and magma cooling in dikes have not been observed and timed, prolific studies have still been directed towards understanding the mechanism of magma intrusion to form dikes and the timing of magma cooling in them.

Keywords

Dikes, Intrusion, Viscosity, Magma Rise Distance, Crystallization, Width, Latent Heat, Cooling, Cooling Times, Granitic Dike, Dolerite (Diabase), Country Rock, Thermal Conductivity

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