When a protolith enters in metamorphism, the minerals transform in other new stable minerals while the pressure and/or temperature increase.

Is there any mineral that would not be affected by a high degree metamorphism processes and would remain the same without experiencing any change?


1 Answer 1


Zircon is one mineral which survives metamorphism.

Zircons can survive processes like erosion, transport and metamorphism, so they preserve a record of past geological processes.

From Wikipedia,

Zircon is common in the crust of Earth. It occurs as a common accessory mineral in igneous rocks (as primary crystallization products), in metamorphic rocks and as detrital grains in sedimentary rocks.

This makes zircon very useful in determining the age of rocks.

  • $\begingroup$ Zircon survives metamorphism, but if I recall my geochronology classes well it is considered that the U-Pb system is opened during a metamorphic event, so it cannot determine the age of the rock itself, but rather the age of the event. $\endgroup$ Dec 2, 2021 at 15:30

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