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Impact-triggered nanoscale Pb clustering and Pb loss domains in Archean zircon
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology ( IF 3.140 ) Pub Date : 2020-06-05 , DOI: 10.1007/s00410-020-01698-w
G. A. Arcuri, D. E. Moser, D. A. Reinhard, B. Langelier, D. J. Larson

Zircon microcrystals are found in many planetary crustal rocks and nanoscale research on grains from well-characterized impact environments on Earth provide a baseline for reconstructing extreme shock and thermal histories elsewhere. However, using zircon to date large impact events can be challenging given that shock-related isotopic re-setting of U–Pb ratios, when measured at micrometre scale, is often incomplete and difficult to interpret as the underlying Pb migration mechanisms are unclear. To better understand shocked zircon U–Pb systematics, we performed atom probe tomography and electron microscopy with the previous SIMS analyses of two shock metamorphosed Mesoarchean zircon grains from deep (≥ 15 km) beneath the centre of the 2.020 Ga giant Vredefort impact structure. We find evidence of two types of impact-related nanoscale Pb mobility. In one grain, clustering has produced ~ 10 nm diameter bodies of radiogenic Pb, unsupported by U and co-located with Al, with an average 207Pb/206Pb ratio of ~ 0.50 (n = 4); the value extant in the grain at the time of impact. Conversely, nearby nanodomains exhibit randomly distributed radiogenic Pb, U and Al and yield 206Pb/238U dates consistent with 100% loss of pre-impact radiogenic Pb atoms during shock metamorphic processes. Notably, domains with multiple Pb clusters occur within micrometres of domains that experienced 100% Pb loss, precluding a uniform radial pattern of thermally-driven Pb diffusion at the grain scale. These cases of broadly coeval clustering and outward Pb mobility during geologically instantaneous shock metamorphism point to unusually rapid, multi-path diffusion processes within sub-micrometre volumes which, when averaged, yield normally discordant U–Pb dates. The isolation of spatially variable styles of Pb retention and loss at nanoscale amidst classical grain-scale shock microstructures shows promise for recognizing and resolving bombardment histories in planetary crusts using zircon.
更新日期:2020-06-05

 

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