Experimental Annealing of Zircon: Influence of Inclusions on Stability, Intracrystalline Melt Migration, Common Lead Leaching, and Permeability to Fluids
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AuthorMorales López, Irene; Molina Palma, José Francisco; Cambeses Torres, Aitor; González Montero, María Del Pilar; Bea Barredo, Fernando
American Chemical Society
Zircon annealingMineral inclusionsGlass inclusionsMelt migrationBaddeleyite-zircon stability relationshipsTungstate dissolution-reprecipitationCommon Pb leaching
Morales, I... [et al.] (2022). Experimental Annealing of Zircon: Influence of Inclusions on Stability, Intracrystalline Melt Migration, Common Lead Leaching, and Permeability to Fluids. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry. [https://doi.org/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.1c00212]
SponsorshipMCIN/AEI/FEDER "Una manera de hacer Europa" CGL2017-84469-P; MCIN/AEI PID2020-114872GB-I00 PRE2018-083193; FEDER/Junta de Andalucia-Consejeria de Transformacion Economica, Industria, Conocimiento y Universidades P20 _00550 P18-FR-1696 an A-RNM-245-UGR18; FSE "El FSE invierte en tu futuro" PRE2018-083193; MCIN/AEI (Juan de la Cierva program) IJC2018-037960-I; Universidad de Granada/CBUA
Zircon derived from crustal rocks can survive dissolution into hot basalts during magma hybridization and rock assimilation if it is shielded as an inclusion phase in early-formed phenocrysts or in minerals from non-disaggregated xenoliths. Under these conditions, zircon can be thermally shocked, triggering recrystallization of metamict domains and reaction with its hosted mineral inclusions. This work simulates this process by performing thermal annealing experiments on zircon grains with variable degrees of metamictization. These were embedded in cristobalite powder under a N2 atmosphere at 1 bar and 1300 °C. The thermal annealing produces recrystallization of metamict domains, melting of multi-phase mineral inclusions, nanopore formation, and microcrack propagation by thermo-elastic stress. The porosity enhances intracrystalline melt mobility, leaching out trace-element and mineral impurities. Baddeleyite was formed at temperatures below the thermal decomposition of pure zircon by two mechanisms: (i) recrystallization of metamict domains assisted by silica migration from the reaction site and (ii) incongruent zircon dissolution into molten mineral inclusions with a high CaO/ SiO2 ratio. Highly metamict zircons with elevated common Pb and radiogenic Pb loss, which were impossible to date with SHRIMP, lost all their common Pb and some radiogenic Pb upon annealing, producing well-fitted discordias with a significant upper intercept age.