Complex nanostructures in shocked, annealed and metamorphosed baddeleyite defined by atom probe tomography

Lee F. White, James Darling, Desmond E. Moser, David A. Reinhard, David J. Larson, Daniel Lawrence, Isabelle Martin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Chemical and isotopic signatures recorded by the accessory phase baddeleyite (ZrO2) yield important insights into the formation and evolution of mafic planetary crusts. However, little work has been conducted regarding the effects of microstructures on the mobilization and diffusion of substitutional and interstitial ions. Coupled nanometer-scale analyses of chemistry and structure in mineral phases is possible using the emerging technique of atom probe tomography (APT). Here we use this technique to describe a range of complex chemical nanostructures within shocked, annealed and metamorphosed baddeleyite grains sampled in crater floor rocks ~550m away from the contact with the Sudbury impact melt sheet. This has revealed a wide range of nanostructural phenomena, including domains of clustered incompatible cations (Fe), separated by high-angle subgrain boundaries or low-angle planar features exhibiting wave-like features decorated with trace amounts of Al, Si and Fe, likely generated by shock metamorphism. In some cases, these nanostructures have facilitated much later, and highly localized, post-impact Pb loss and Si gain ascribed to regional greenschist metamorphism. Characterizing nanoscale heterogeneities within complex, shocked baddeleyite grains using APT may allow for resolution of different deformation pathways and a more confident interpretation of the geologic significance of micron-scale trace element and isotopic analyses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMicrostructural Geochronology: Planetary Records Down to Atom Scale
    EditorsDesmond E. Moser, Fernando Corfu, James R. Darling, Steven M. Reddy, Kimberly Tait
    PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9781119227250
    ISBN (Print)9781119227243
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018

    Publication series

    NameGeophysical Monograph Series
    PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union


    • annealed baddeleyite
    • atomic-scale techniques
    • complex chemical nanostructure formation
    • isotopic analysis
    • mafic planetary crusts
    • metamorphosed baddeleyite
    • micron-scale trace element analysis
    • microstructural geochronology
    • pervasive crystal plastic deformation
    • shocked baddeleyite grains


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