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Optical dating sediments

In the past 15 years there have been significant advances in luminescence dating with the advent of single aliquot and grain analysis, and associated protocols with blue/green diodes that can effectively compensated for laboratory induced sensitivity changes (Murray and Wintle, 2003; Wintle and Murray, 2006; Duller, 2012) and render accurate ages for the past ca. Most recently, the development of protocols for inducing the thermal-transfer of deeply trapped electrons has extended potentially OSL dating to the 106 year timescale for well solar-reset quartz and potassium feldspar grains from eolian and littoral environments (Duller and Wintle, 2012).

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A subpopulation of stored electrons with trap depths of ~1.3 to 3 e V is a subsequent source for time-diagnostic luminescence emissions.The recent development of charge transfer techniques for potassium feldspar (e.g. A common approach in OSL dating is to use SAR protocols on quartz aliquots with the protocols customized for a specific sample, a study site or area (Fig. The SAR approach is predicated on a number of assumptions.post IR290) that use elevated preheats (~290˚C) to transfer electrons from stable deeper to shallower traps for ease of measurement has extended dating possibilities to 10 timescales for well solar reset grains (Duller and Wintle, 2012). 3: (a) Determination of equivalent dose (in grays) using the single aliquot regenerative (SAR) protocols, where the natural luminescence emission is Ln/Tn and the regenerative dose is Lx/Tx; sensitivity changes are corrected by the administration of a small text dose (e.g. First, that the fast component of luminescence emissions, light released within the first 4 seconds, is the dominant signal, usually 30 aliquots of quartz or feldspar grains (Fig. Each aliquot often contains 10’s to 100’s of quartz grains; the total number dependent on grain size (e.g. Statistical analyses of equivalent dose distributions are critical to render accurate OSL ages with specific age models (Galbraith and Roberts, 2012).Purity of the separate is accessed through microscopic inspection and point counting of grain mineralogy.Spectral purity of quartz is often determined by excitation by infrared light from a diode array with subsequent light emissions associated presumably with feldspar contaminants.Alpha particles are about 90 to 95% less effective in inducing luminescence compared to beta and gamma radiation.Thus, the population of stored electrons in lattice-charge defects increases with prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation and the resolved luminescence emission increases with time.95% reduction in OSL within 4 seconds of exposure to light from blue diodes Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating or optical dating provides a measure of time since sediment grains were deposited and shielded from further light or heat exposure, which often effectively resets the luminescence signal (Fig.1).This technique, as thermoluminescence, was originally developed in the 1950s and 1960s to date fired archaeological materials, like ceramics (Aitken, 1985).(f) Careful sampling without light exposure and measuring of the natural luminescence, followed by a normalizing test dose (Ln/Tn) compared to the regenerative dose to yield an equivalent dose (De) (from Mellet, 2013).The exposure of quartz and feldspar grains to sunlight for 60 seconds effectively diminishes the time-stored OSL signal to a low definable level.


  1. Optical dating is a rapidly developing technique, used primarily in the dating of sediments deposited in the last 500000 or more years. As such increasing.

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