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Title: Phacolith  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Intrusion, Igneous rocks, Igneous rock, List of Greek words with English derivatives
Collection: Igneous Petrology, Igneous Rocks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia



A phacolith is a pluton parallel to the bedding plane or foliation of folded country rock. More specifically, it is a typically lens-shaped pluton that occupies either the crest of an anticline or the trough of a syncline. In rare cases the body may extend as a sill from the crest of an anticline through the trough of an adjacent syncline, such that in cross section it has an S shape. In intensely folded terrain the hinge of folds would be areas of reduced pressure and thus potential sites for magma migration and emplacement.

The term was coined and initially defined by Alfred Harker in his The Natural History of Igneous Rocks in 1909.


  • Davis A. Young (2003) Mind Over Magma: The Story of Igneous Petrology, page 335, Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-10279-1
  • American Geological Institute. Dictionary of Geological Terms. New York: Dolphin Books, 1962.
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