A quantitative evaluation of zircon-crop measurements



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Texas Tech University


The results of statistical studies of zircon-crops have been used by past investigators to support a variety of conclusions, generally in regard to the origin of particular rock bodies.

Earlier investigators have shown that a qualitative relationship exists between zircon-crops separated from fresh and altered specimens with the altered samples yielding the more characteristic crops.

Length and breadth measurements were made on zircon crystals from seven sets of rocks. Each set contained three specimens weathered to different degrees. Attempts were made to find quantitative relationships between the amount of weathering a rock has undergone, measured by the sample crushing strength, and the resultant zircon-crop parameters. This search proved inconclusive and only qualitative relationships were noted. Results showed that the number of variables, i.e., grain size, size range, mineralogy of host rock, differences in zircon distribution within the host rock, and size-shape range of zircon crystals, preclude reliable studies of zircon-crops based on differences in parameters due to a single (crushing strength) property.