Xenoliths in the Sierra Nevada Batholith, Yosemite - Interpretation

If xenoliths are broke fragments of the host rock that is being intruded then how can their shape be modified from the expected geometry of angular clasts. Several processes exist including melting of the clasts walls, ductile deformation of the xenolith once it is heated up, micro-plucking of xenolith grains as the surrounding crystal mush moves and deforms. The variation in xenoliths shapes here could be a function of the amount of time spent in the magma, with the smaller angular clasts representing later incorporation where either conditions had changed or there wasn't enough time for modification of the original shape.

Return to entry page.

Return to uninterpreted image.