Nano-and micro-geochronology in Hadean and Archean zircons by atom-probe tomography and SIMS: New tools for old minerals
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Atom-probe tomography (APT) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) provide complementary in situ element and isotope data in minerals such as zircon. SIMS measures isotope ratios and trace elements from 1–20 μm spots with excellent accuracy and precision. APT identifies mass/charge and three-dimensional position of individual atoms (±0.3 nm) in 100 nm-scale samples, volumes up to one million times smaller than SIMS. APT data provide unique information for understanding element and isotope distribution; crystallization and thermal history; and mechanisms of mineral reaction and exchange. This atomistic view enables evaluation of the fidelity of geochemical data for zircon because it provides new understanding of radiation damage, and can test for intracrystalline element mobility. Nano-geochronology is one application of APT in which Pb isotope ratios from sub-micrometer domains of zircon provide model ages of crystallization and identify later magmatic and metamorphic reheating.
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