A dike swarm
or dyke swarm
is a major group of parallel, linear, or radially oriented dikes intruded
within continental crust
. They consist of several to hundreds of dikes emplaced more or less contemporaneously during a single intrusive event and are magmatic and stratigraphic. Such dike swarms may form a large igneous province
and are the roots of a volcanic province.
The occurrence of mafic dike swarms in Archean and Paleoproterozoic terranes is often cited as evidence for mantle plume activity associated with abnormally high mantle potential temperatures.
Dike swarms may extend over in width and length. The World's largest dike swarm is the Mackenzie dike swarm in the Northwest Territories of Canada, which is more than wide and long.
The number of known giant dike swarms on Earth is small, only about 25. However, the primary geometry of most giant dike swarms is poorly known since plate tectonics are thought to destroy them.
Examples of dike swarms