A Caltech Library Service

Sub-micron-scale trace-element distributions in natural zircons of known provenance: implications for Ti-in-zircon thermometry

Hofmann, Amy E. and Baker, Michael B. and Eiler, John M. (2014) Sub-micron-scale trace-element distributions in natural zircons of known provenance: implications for Ti-in-zircon thermometry. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 168 (3). Art. No. 1057. ISSN 0010-7999.

[img] MS Word - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


NanoSIMS measurements of Ti, P, Y, Ce, and Hf in zircon separates from the Youngest Toba Tuff, the Bishop Tuff, the Quottoon Igneous Complex, the Sierra Nevada batholith, and an Adirondack migmatite show that micron-scale oscillatory zoning of Ti is common. The zircons we have studied typically display banded concentration gradients, having between 1 and 7 peaks in Ti abundance over length scales of 10–20 μm—the beam diameter commonly used for SIMS trace-element zircon analyses—with amplitudes of up to 4.5 ppm Ti (baseline values are ~1–4 ppm) and widths (measured at half-height) of between ~0.2 and 4 μm. Spatial correlations between concentrations of Ti and other trace elements (P, Y, and Ce) are also common, but variable in character, ranging from oscillatory co-variation of Ti, P, Y, and Ce to cases where only a subset of peaks for a given element is spatially correlated with peaks in Ti. There are also longer length-scale, generally positive correlations among concentrations of Ti, P, Y, and Ce (i.e., gradients on which narrower peaks are superimposed). In contrast, Hf concentrations are either uncorrelated or inversely correlated with these longer length-scale variations in Ti concentrations. The wide range in Ti concentrations over distances of less than 1 μm and the various correlations between Ti concentrations and those of the other analyzed elements suggest that on the micron scale and at temperatures between ~700 and 800 °C, zircon-liquid Ti partitioning is not controlled by bulk or lattice equilibrium. Treating our NanoSIMS Ti ion maps as though they were conventional SIMS analyses (i.e., generating an average Ti concentration for each map), we evaluate the hypothesis that while micron-scale variations in Ti concentrations might be kinetically controlled, when averaged over 100–400 μm2, such variations capture the thermal state of the growing zircon. Using these average Ti concentrations, independent petrologic pressure and temperature constraints, estimates of silica and titania activities based on phase assemblages as well as calculations using rhyolite-MELTS, we show that crystallization temperatures predicted by Ti-in-zircon geothermometry generally do not agree with the independently constrained temperatures for the samples.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Additional Information:© 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Received: 2 November 2013; Accepted: 18 August 2014. Published online: 03 September 2014. The authors thank Yunbin Guan for technical assistance on the NanoSIMS and Bruce Watson, Jay Thomas, and Jason Saleeby for providing zircon samples. Mary Reid and John Hanchar provided thoughtful reviews that contributed to an improved manuscript. Financial support for this study was provided by National Science Foundation Grant EAR-0910975 to J.M. Eiler and by a Grant from the Moore Foundation to the Caltech Microanalysis Center.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140908-090653913
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Hofmann, A.E., Baker, M.B. & Eiler, J.M. Contrib Mineral Petrol (2014) 168: 1057. doi:10.1007/s00410-014-1057-8
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49314
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2014 16:14
Last Modified:16 Jun 2017 16:10

Repository Staff Only: item control page