The composition of “heavy,” or accessory, detrital minerals in sediments and sedimentary rocks has been a topic of quantitative study for at least the last seventy years, beginning with the first issue of the Journal of Sedimentary Petrology in May 1931 (Tyler 1931, Pentland 1931). Zircon has since played a prominent and complex role in interpreting the composition and history of modern and ancient sediments. Because zircon is highly refractory at Earth’s surface, it occurs in virtually all sedimentary deposits and so provides a critical link in understanding the source history of a deposit. Twenhofel (1941),...

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