Chemical and structural relations of epitaxial xenotime and zircon substratum in sedimentary and hydrothermal environments: A TEM study

K. Drost, R. Wirth, J. Košler, H. Fonneland Jørgensen, T. Ntaflos

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Xenotime overgrowths on detrital zircon in siliciclastic sediments have been reported in numerous studies. However, in natural samples, solid solution of zircon and xenotime is limited to near-end-member compositions. In order to characterize the interface region between both minerals and to draw inferences on the growth mechanisms of authigenic xenotime, we studied xenotime overgrowths on detrital zircon grains from two Phanerozoic sandstone samples with contrasting post-depositional histories. In one sample, the small (≤10 μm), pyramidal xenotime overgrowths are of diagenetic origin and grew without major discontinuity on the detrital zircon grain. The second sample shows up to >50-μm-wide, porous and inclusion-rich, hydrothermal xenotime overgrowths on detrital zircon, whereas the transition zone between both minerals is accompanied by large pore volume. Chemical compositions of the xenotime precipitates from the two samples differ particularly in Y, REE, Th and Sc concentrations, whereas high MREE availability in the diagenetic sample and the presence of Sc in the hydrothermal sample, respectively, appear to have promoted xenotime growth. Transmission electron microscopy on electron-transparent foils cut from the interface region shows that both the diagenetic xenotime and the hydrothermal xenotime are crystalline and grew in optical and crystallographic continuity to their detrital zircon substrata. Only a narrow transition zone (≤90 nm-diagenetic sample, 200-300 nm-hydrothermal sample) between zircon and xenotime is in part made up of nanometre-scale crystalline domains that are slightly distorted and may have formed from dissolution-re-precipitation processes at the zircon rim along with precipitation from the respective fluid.
Seiten (von - bis)737-756
FachzeitschriftContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Jan. 2013

ÖFOS 2012

  • 105116 Mineralogie