What Is a Batholith?

The term batholith refers to a large body of igneous rock that is formed below the surface of the earth because of the intrusion and solidification of magma. A batholith usually consists of coarse-grained rocks, such as granite or granodiorite.

This body of igneous rock is irregularly shaped, and its side walls are steeply inclined against its host rock. It was once believed that batholiths extend to unknown depths, but recent studies have found that many batholiths are 10 to 15 km, or 6 to 9 miles, thick. One popular batholith is found in the Sierra Nevada range located in California.