Despite its low abundance in most rocks, zircon is extraordinarily useful in interpreting crustal histories. The importance of U-Th-Pb isotopic dating of zircon is well and long established (Davis et al., this volume; Parrish et al., this volume). Zircon also tends to incorporate trace elements useful as geochemical tracers, such as the REE, Y, and Hf. A number of characteristics of zircon encourage the preservation of internal isotopic and chemical variations, often on extremely fine scale, which provide valuable insight into thermal histories and past geochemical environments. The relative insolubility of zircon in crustal melts and fluids, as well as...

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