Gem-quality zircon megacrysts occur in placer deposits in the Central Highlands, Vietnam, and have euhedral to anhedral crystal shapes with dimensions of ~3 cm in length. These zircons have primary inclusions of calcite, olivine, and corundum. Secondary quartz, baddeleyite, hematite, and CO2 fluid inclusions were found in close proximity to cracks and tubular channels. LA-ICP-MS U-Pb ages of analyzed zircon samples yielded two age populations of ca. 1.0 Ma and ca. 6.5 Ma, that were consistent with the ages of alkali basalt eruptions in the Central Highlands at Buon Ma Thuot (5.80–1.67 Ma), Pleiku (4.30–0.80 Ma), and Xuan Loc (0.83–0.44 Ma). The zircon geochemical signatures and primary inclusions suggested a genesis from carbonatite-dominant melts as a result of partial melting of a metasomatized lithospheric mantle source, but not from the host alkali basalt. Chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns showed a pronounced positive Ce, but negligible Eu anomalies. Detailed hyperspectral Dy3+ photoluminescence images of zircon megacrysts revealed resorption and re-growth processes.
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- zircon megacrysts
- placer deposits
- rare earth elements (REE)
- carbonatite-dominant melts
- Central Highlands
- hyperspectral photoluminescence imaging