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Hot little crucibles are pressured to reveal and calibrate igneous processes

Wyllie, Peter J. (1999) Hot little crucibles are pressured to reveal and calibrate igneous processes. In: James Hutton — Present and Future. Geological Society special publication. No.150. Geological Society of London , London, pp. 37-57. ISBN 9781862390263.

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The fires of Hutton’s (1726–1797) Plutonists could not be quenched by the oceans of Werner’s (1750–1817) Neptunists. Hall (1761–1832) was convinced that Hutton’s theory could be proved by experiments, but he deferred to the fears of his older colleague that failed experiments might discredit the theory (which needed no further proof), and completed the experiments only after Hutton’s death. Hutton censured those who ‘judge of the great operations of the mineral kingdom, from having kindled a fire, and looked into the bottom of a little crucible’. Hall believed that ‘the imitation of the natural process is an object which may be pursued with rational expectation of success’. Following many discussions between Hutton and Hall, three topics were pursued in Hall’s experiments: 1790, the magmatic origin of granites, younger than schists; 1798, whinstones/dolerites are as magmatic as known lavas; 1805, powdered calcite is transformed to marble and melted by the effects of compression (and water) in modifying the action of heat. The latter involved the first high-pressure, high-temperature apparatus and earned Hall the title ‘Father of Experimental Petrology’. Subsequent development of these topics is outlined, with reference to debates about primary basalts, granitization, and carbonatites.

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Additional Information:© 1999 The Geological Society. I thank Barry Dawson and the Conference Organizers for the invitation to lecture, and the Earth Sciences section of the US National Science Foundation for Grants EAR-921886 and EAR-950577 and for supporting research in my laboratory on granitic rocks, carbonatites, and kimberlites through many years; and John Gittins for locating the reference source for H.H. Read's famous statement about 'basic behinds.'
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Series Name:Geological Society special publication
Issue or Number:150
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160112-092915803
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Official Citation:Peter J. Wyllie Hot little crucibles are pressured to reveal and calibrate igneous processes Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 150:37-57, doi:10.1144/GSL.SP.1999.150.01.03
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63579
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Jan 2016 17:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:18

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