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Latest Zircon Stories

2008-09-19 03:00:23

By Zhu, Wenbin Zhang, Zhiyong; Shu, Liangshu; Lu, Huafu; Su, Jinbao; Yang, Wei Mafic dykes are observed in the Korla region along the northern Tarim Block, NW China. Our sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe U-Pb zircon ages, the first determined for these dykes, indicate that the mafic dykes were mainly formed at 650-630 Ma, and thus document the youngest known igneous activity associated with rifting in the Tarim Block during the Neoproterozoic. Combined with previous geochronological...

2008-08-01 03:00:26

By Friend, C R L Strachan, R A; Kinny, P D Abstract: Basement gneiss inliers within the Scottish Caledonides have been conventionally correlated with the Archaean Lewisian Gneiss Complex of the Caledonian foreland. Alternatively, the inliers could represent allochthonous terranes accreted to Laurentia before or during the Caledonian orogeny. Secondary ionization mass spectrometry U-Pb zircon dating indicates that the Ribigill, Borgie, Farr and Western Glenelg basement inliers are...

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2008-07-02 18:55:00

A recent study has shown that tiny slivers of diamond forged on an infant Earth may contain the earliest traces of life. The crystals contain a form of carbon often associated with plants and bacteria. The researchers caution that their results are not definitive proof of early life but do "not exclude" the possibility. "We're all a little sceptical," said Dr Martin Whitehouse of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and one of the authors of the paper. If the study is proven to be true then...

2008-06-17 15:00:43

U.S. scientists studying minerals called zircons say a harsh climate might have scoured or even destroyed the surface of the Earth's earliest continents. University of Wisconsin-Madison geologist Professor John Valley said Zircons, the oldest known materials on Earth, offer a window in time back as far as 4.4 billion years ago. Because the crystals are exceptionally resistant to chemical changes, Valley said they are now used to determine the age of ancient rocks. Valley previously used...

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2008-06-14 08:45:48

MADISON - A new analysis of ancient minerals called zircons suggests that a harsh climate may have scoured and possibly even destroyed the surface of the Earth's earliest continents. Zircons, the oldest known materials on Earth, offer a window in time back as far as 4.4 billion years ago, when the planet was a mere 150 million years old. Because these crystals are exceptionally resistant to chemical changes, they have become the gold standard for determining the age of ancient rocks, says...

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2008-03-03 15:45:00

New discovery of 'old growth' crystals provides new record of planetary evolutionThree-billion-year-old zircon microcrystals found in northern Ontario are proving to be a new record of the processes that form continents and their natural resources, including gold and diamonds.The discovery was made recently by an international research team led by Earth Sciences professor Desmond Moser at The University of Western Ontario. Measuring no more than the width of a human hair, the 200-million-year...

2007-08-11 10:38:40

Crystals on meteorite hold a key to understanding building blocks of planets A University of Toronto-led study has uncovered tiny zircon crystals in a meteorite originating from Vesta (a large asteroid between Mars and Jupiter), shedding light on the formation of planetesimals, small astronomical objects that form the basis of planets. To date, studying zircons in eucrites "“ meteorites formed by volcanic activity "“ has been difficult due to impact- induced fracturing and their...

2007-02-07 12:50:18

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history, according to the first detailed laboratory analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks. Scientists have theorized for years that high concentrations of greenhouse gases could have helped Earth avoid global freezing in its youth by allowing the atmosphere to retain more heat than it lost. Now a team from the University of Chicago and the...

2005-11-17 18:40:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- Tiny zircon crystals dug up from ancient Australian deposits appear to have been formed right after the birth of the planet -- a finding that suggests that early on, Earth had a cool crust much like today's that could have harbored life, scientists said on Thursday. Most remnants of the very early crust, formed more than 4 billion years ago, are gone -- recycled as part of the steady ongoing process known as plate tectonics. But...

2005-11-17 17:23:10

A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans. The team came to the conclusion following an analysis of a rare metal element known as hafnium in ancient minerals from the Jack Hills in Western Australia, thought to be among the oldest rocks on Earth. Hafnium is found in association with...


Latest Zircon Reference Libraries

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2005-05-25 10:17:59

Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical formula is ZrSiO4. Hafnium is almost always present ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal class. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown or green. Specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond (but note that cubic zirconia is a completely different synthetic mineral with a different chemical composition). Zircon is a...

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