Zircon with polycrystalline or polygranular appearance is either produced in the magmatic environment through crystallization, or due to deformation in metamorphic settings (including regional metamorphism and ductile shear zones), or as a result of shock-induced recrystallization. All three types can be easily confused and potentially lead to incorrect interpretations, especially if the crystallographic orientation analyses of zircon are not conducted. It is particularly important to establish the difference between tectonically-deformed polygranular zircon and shock-induced polygranular zircon because the latter serves as an indicator of shock event and is often used for dating asteroid impacts. In this paper, a series of polycrystalline zircon grains from ductile shear zones and metamorphic rocks are analyzed using a combination of techniques (BSE, CL, orientation contrast, EBSD, and microprobe mapping), and their properties are compared to reported polycrystalline zircons from magmatic and impact settings. This work shows how appearance, crystallographic orientation, and CL signature of “granules” differ between the different types of deformed zircon.
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