How do plutons differ from other kinds of mountains?



  1. 0 Votes

    While most mountains are created when Continental plates come together and force rock up, plutons are formed through a different process. Plutons are formed when magma beneath the earth’s surface breaks through the crust and subsequently builds up over time. This creates solitary and usually cylindrical mountains (see link) quite different from other mountain formations.

  2. 0 Votes

    It is incorrect to say that plutons form through processes different from continental plate collision. In fact, most plutons are indeed the direct result of subduction (oceanic crust beneath continental), but continent-continent collisions can certainly generate plutons as well.

    They do not form when magma breaks through the crust (inferring the other answer to mean through the sufrace). The word plutonic, from Pluto the god of the underworld, indicates formation at great depth, not at the surface.

    The process does not usually create solitary and cylindrical mountains such as Devils Tower linked in the other answer; in fact, plutons are generally huge, dozens to hundreds of miles long. The entire core of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California is a mass of coalesced plutons adding up to perhaps 500 miles long.

    Plutons form at great depth, but are exposed by subsequent (typically millions of years later) uplift and erosion.

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