1989 Edition


  • A. J. R. White
Reference work entry

Anatexis is the process of melting or partial melting of pre-existing solid rocks within the Earthʼns crust. The term was introduced by J. J. Sederholm in 1907 when discussing one possible origin of migmatites or mixed rocks which consist of both granitic and metamorphic material. The granitic part of the migmatite (leucosome) represents melted material, and the metamorphic part the residual unmelted material (restite). Mainly because of original usage, the term is usually applied when the product of melting is granitic. The term anatexite (anatectite) is used by some authors, particularly in France, for a rock formed by anatexis.

Anatexis in metamorphic rocks

Explanations other than partial melting have been proposed for the genesis of the leucosomes of migmatites (White, 1966), but most geologists now favor partial melting.

In regional metamorphic terranes, migmatites, mostly of the banded gneiss type (referred to as lit-par-lit gneisses, venites, or veined gneisses— Fig. 1), may...
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© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1989

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  • A. J. R. White

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