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Microstructural Geochronology: Planetary Records Down to Atom Scale

Desmond Moser (Editor), Fernando Corfu (Editor), James Darling (Editor), Steven Reddy (Editor), Kimberly Tait (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-119-22724-3
402 pages
December 2017, American Geophysical Union
Microstructural Geochronology: Planetary Records Down to Atom Scale (1119227240) cover image


Microstructural Geochronology

Geochronology techniques enable the study of geological evolution and environmental change over time. This volume integrates two aspects of geochronology: one based on classical methods of orientation and spatial patterns, and the other on ratios of radioactive isotopes and their decay products.

The chapters illustrate how material science techniques are taking this field to the atomic scale, enabling us to image the chemical and structural record of mineral lattice growth and deformation, and sometimes the patterns of radioactive parent and daughter atoms themselves, to generate a microstructural geochronology from some of the most resilient materials in the solar system. 

  • First compilation of research focusing on the crystal structure, material properties, and chemical zoning of the geochronology mineral archive down to nanoscale
  • Novel comparisons of mineral time archives from different rocky planets and asteroids and their shock metamorphic histories
  • Fundamentals on how to reconstruct and date radiogenic isotope distributions using atom probe tomography

Microstructural Geochronology will be a valuable resource for graduate students, academics, and researchers in the fields of petrology, geochronology, mineralogy, geochemistry, planetary geology, astrobiology, chemistry, and material science. It will also appeal to philosophers and historians of science from other disciplines.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of contributors

Moser, Desmond; Corfu, Fernando; Darling, James; Tait, Kimberly; Reddy, Steven


Chapter 1: Zircon as magma monitor: Robust, temperature-dependent partition coefficients from glass and zircon surface and rim measurements from natural systems
Claiborne, Lily; Miller, Calvin; Gualda, Guillherme; Carley, Tamara; Covey, Aaron; Wooden, Joseph; Fleming, Marc

Chapter 2: Petrology and geochronology of metamorphic zircon
Kohn, Matthew; Kelly, Nigel

Chapter 3: Origins of textural, compositional and isotopic complexity in monazite and its petrochronological analysis
Hetherington, Callum; Backus, Ethan; McFarlane, Christopher; Fisher, Christopher; Pearson, Graham

Chapter 4: Application of Single Shot Laser Ablation Split Stream Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Accessory Phase Petrochronology
Cottle, John; Stearns, Michael

Chapter 5: Comparing chemical microstructures of some early Solar System zircon from differentiated asteroids, Mars and Earth
Roszjar, Julia; Moser, Desmond; Hyde, Brendt; Chanmuang, Chutimun; Tait, Kimberly

Chapter 6: Crystallization of baddeleyite in basaltic rocks from Mars and comparison with the Earth, Moon and Vesta   

Herd, Christopher; Moser, Desmond: Tait, Kimberly; Darling, James; Shaulis, Barry; McCoy, Timothy             


Chapter 7: Strength and deformation of zircon at crustal and mantle pressures 

Morosova, Ievgeniia; Shieh, Sean; Moser, Desmond; Barker, Ivan, Hanchar, John

Chapter 8: Role of elastic anisotropy in the development of deformation microstructures in zircon

Timms, Nicholas; Healy, David; Erickson, Timmons; Nemchin, Alexander; Pearce, Mark; Cavosie, Aaron

Chapter 9: The Rietputs Formation in South Africa: A Pleistocene fluvial archive of meteorite impact unique to the Kaapvaal craton  

Cavosie, Aaron; Erickson, Timmons; Montalvo, Pedro; Prado, Diana; Cintron, Nadja; Gibbon, Ryan

Chapter 10: Deciphering the effects of zircon deformation and recrystallization to resolve the age and heritage of an Archean mafic granulite complex            

Rayner, Nicole; Sanborne-Barrie, Mary; Moser, Desmond

Chapter 11: Alpha recoil loss of Pb from baddeleyite evaluated by High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP II) depth profiling and numerical modelling: implications for the interpretation of U-Pb ages in small baddeleyite crystals

Davis, William; Davis, Don

Chapter 12: Transmission Electron Microscope imaging sharpens geochronological interpretation of zircon and monazite       Seydoux-Guillaume, Anne-Magali; Bingen, Bernard; Bosse, Valérie; Janots, Emilie; Laurent, Antonin              


Chapter 13: Detecting micro- and nano-scale variations in element mobility in high-grade metamorphic rocks: implication for precise U-Pb dating of zircon
Kusiak, Monika; Wilde, Simon; Wirth, Richard; Dunkley, Daniel; Whitehouse, Martin; Lyon, Ian; Reddy, Steven

Chapter 14: The Optimization of Zircon Analyses by Laser-assisted Atom Probe Microscopy: Insights from the 91500 Zircon Standard
Saxey, David ; Reddy, Steven; Fougerouse, Denis; Rickard, William

Chapter 15: Atom Probe Tomography of Phalaborwa Baddeleyite and Reference Zircon BR266
Reinhard, David; Moser, Desmond; Martin, Isabelle; Rice, Katherine; Chen, Yimeng; Olson, David; Lawrence, Daniel; Prosa, Ty; Larson, David

Chapter 16: Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for spatial and spectral processing of Pb isotopes in zircon by atom probe tomography
Blum, Tyler; Reinhard, David; Chen, Yimeng; Prosa, Ty; Larson, David; Valley, John

Chapter 17: Trace element nanostructures in shock metamorphosed baddeleyite revealed by atom probe tomography
White, Lee, Darling, James, Moser, Desmond, Reinhard, David, Dunlop, Joseph, Larson, David, Lawrence, Daniel, Martin, Isabelle

Chapter 18: Best Practices for Reporting Atom Probe Analysis of Geological Materials
Blum, Tyler; Darling, James; Kelly, Thomas; Larson, David; Moser, Desmond; Perez-Huerta, Alberto; Prosa, Ty; Reddy, Steven; Reinhard, David; Saxey, David; Ulfig, Robert; Valley, John


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Author Information

Desmond Moser, PhD is Associate Professor, Zircon & Accessory Phase Laboratory, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. 

Fernando Corfu, PhD is Professor, Section of Geology and Geophysics, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway.

Steven Reddy, is Professor, Curtin University of Technology, Western School of Australian Mines, Australia.

James Darling, PhD is Senior Lecturer, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Portsmouth.

Kimberly Tait, PhD is Associate Curator of Mineralogy, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario.

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