Zircon recrystallization, particularly at sub-solidus conditions, can be assisted and enhanced by deformation. Zircon crystals in shear zones and metamorphic rocks that recorded high pressures during subduction are the best material to study the effect of deformation in these robust mineral. Extreme deformation may also be recorded in zircon from rocks in impact structures.
The degree and style of deformation is best investigated by Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD), which measures the variation of orientations of the crystallographic axis within and among crystals. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) investigates deformation of the zircon structure at the micro and nano scale and is used to look at domain boundaries and dislocations.