As a significant carrier of uranium, thorium and the rare earth elements (REEs) at ppm level, and hafnium at the percent level, zircon hosts a remarkable number of long-lived radioactive isotopes and their stable decay products. These include 238U, 235U and 232Th which decay via intermediate steps to 206Pb, 207Pb and 208Pb, respectively, 176Lu which decays to 176Hf, 147Sm which decays to 143Nd, and 138La which undergoes branched decay to 138Ce and 138Ba. This combination makes zircon one of the most versatile minerals available to the geochronologist....

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