Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Proposal that the earth’s heat is very old, and that granites crystallized from molten rocks. Once the granites had formed, according to this theory, the heat also uplifted the land; volcanoes were considered escape valves, and were correctly proposed as the source of basalts. Weathering and deposition led to renewed heat accumulation which in turn led to the production of new continents. One of the chief advocates was James Hutton. Aka plutonism.

Cf. neptunism.

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