Zircon has become one of the most important minerals for studying sediment provenance and the exhumation history of orogenic belts. The reason for this utility is that zircon is common in many igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, it is resistant to weathering and abrasion, and it can be dated with various isotopic methods having reasonable high concentrations of uranium and thorium (Fig. 11). Techniques used to date detrital zircon include U/Pb and (U-Th)/He dating, but in this chapter we focus exclusively on fission-track (FT) analysis.

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FT analysis allows age determination of single zircon grains that may have cooling...

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