Synthetic ZrSiO4, HfSiO4, and ThSiO4 single-crystal specimens were irradiated by 800 keV Kr+ ions, and the microstructural evolution was observed in-situ in a transmission electron microscope. All three compounds were found to become amorphous up to temperatures in excess of 600°C. Using a new model, the activation energies for annealing were found to be in the range of 3.1 to 3.6 eV for these compounds. At temperatures above 600°C, the orthosilicates were observed to decompose into the component oxides (e.g., tetragonal ZrO2 + amorphous SiO2 in the case of zircon). A single-crystal zircon specimen was also irradiated with a pulsed picosecond Nd:YAG laser operated at 355 nm, and the resulting microstructure was investigated by optical absorption, SEM, AFM, and TEM techniques.