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Environment, climate and energy Nature and technology Department of Geoscience Publication

A new Primer on Luminescence Dating

Optically stimulated luminescence dating using quartz presented by an international team of experts led by AU

The sediments on the surface of our planet preserves a record of the history of our species and its environment, but understanding and interpreting this record depends on knowing when the sediments were deposited. Luminescence dating is one of the main methods used to estimate the depositional age of sediments over the last ~0.5 million years. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating uses the accumulation of energy stored in quartz grains to measure time. This stored energy is absorbed from natural ionising radiation, and is released (reset) by heat or daylight. The total specific energy (dose) absorbed since last resetting is measured using OSL, and divided by the rate of storage (dose rate) to give the time elapsed since the last heating or daylight exposure. This Primer, written by an international team of experts in the field, is targeted  at  users who want to know more about how ages are derived and how to interpret them, and at students and academics intending to become involved in the method. The article describes the most widely used method in OSL dating, and illustrates its applications using examples from a broad set of geological and archaeological applications. The advantages and disadvantages of the method are discussed, and anticipated new developments  highlighted.

 

You can read the article here

 

For more information, feel free to contact Professor Andrew Murray