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Radiation-damage halos in quartz

Michael R. Owen
Radiation-damage halos in quartz
Geology (Boulder) (June 1988) 16 (6): 529-532


Radiation-damage halos are present in quartz that surrounds, or is adjacent to, accessory minerals such as zircon. These halos are not visible in transmitted light but are revealed by cathodoluminescence (CL). They extend up to 45 mu m away from the source of radioactivity. Some halos show concentric rings similar to those previously reported in pleochroic halos in biotite. Radiation-damage halos occur in three main settings: surrounding inclusions within quartz grains; penetrating into quartz from adjacent radionuclide-bearing grains; and in quartz cement near such grains. Halos are more common in pre-Paleozoic rocks than in younger rocks, except in cases of unusual enrichment in radioactive elements. Halos result from damage to quartz-crystal structure, identical to the process forming pleochroic halos in biotite. Damage is caused by alpha particles emitted by radioactive elements within mineral grains and is a partial function of time. Consequently, radiation-damage halos may have potential uses in geochronology.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 16
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Radiation-damage halos in quartz
Author(s): Owen, Michael R.
Affiliation: St. Lawrence Univ., Dep. Geol., Canton, NY, United States
Pages: 529-532
Published: 198806
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 45
Accession Number: 1988-044694
Categories: Geochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1988
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