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Using zircons taken from two granite plutons, Strontian (Caledonian, northwestern Scotland) and Kameruka (Bega Batholith, southeastern Australia), this study presents observations that have a bearing on refractory zircons as provenance indicators. Two broad textural types of refractory zircon were identified: (1) those which show simple two-stage growth histories; and (2) those which have apparently undergone repeated periods of growth, resorption, mechanical abrasion, fracturing and fracture-healing. SHRIMP U–Pb ages obtained from the Kameruka zircons indicate that the cores are the textural manifestation of inheritance. The shapes of refractory cores are not unambiguously indicative of their ultimate origin, since they may also be modified by processes that occur before and after incorporation into the magma. The cores within the two populations show a great diversity in types and styles of zoning, and in composition, implying that they have not chemically equilibrated internally, or externally with their host melt.

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