Publication Details

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Title: The incorporation of Pb into zircon
Authors: E.B. Watson, D.J. Cherniak, J.M. Hanchar, T.M. Harrison, and D.A. Wark
Publication: Chem. Geol., v. 141, p. 19‐31.
Publish Date: Jan 1997
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2004.04.018
PDF: pdf
BibTEX Citation: Watson:1997.bib


We report, for the first time, a direct, atomic‐scale characterization of Pb in zircon (4.4–3.1 Ga) from the early Archean Yilgarn craton in Australia using high‐resolution HAADF‐STEM. Two forms of Pb have been identified: Pb concentrated at ≈ 3 atom% as a nanoscale patch in zircon structure, and Pb concentrated within the amorphous domain created by fission fragment damage. The first result suggests that the Pb atoms directly substitute for Zr4+ in the zircon structure, and the latter observation demonstrates that Pb diffusion can occur through amorphous regions created by radiation damage, although volume diffusion is typically considered to be the dominant mechanism for Pb diffusion. Beyond the first percolation point, i.e., when the amorphous domains overlap and form a fully interconnected network of amorphous domains, there is a new pathway for the diffusion of Pb that is faster than volume diffusion through crystalline zircon.