Basic concepts of luminescence dating


An energy level diagram that illustrates how ionizing radiation creates luminescence centers in crystal lattices (redrawn from Ref. (a) Following irradiation, electrons are expelled from their original sites leaving holes behind.(b) At appropriate sites, electrons are trapped while holes may become localized.This is followed by a look at measurement equipment that is employed in determining age and its operation.Luminescence properties of minerals used in dating are then examined after which procedures used in age calculation are looked at.



Evicted electrons that reach luminescence centers result in light being emitted. Illustration of glow-curves obtained following thermal stimulation. For quartz, TL measurement focused on a peak between 320 and 330°C whereas for feldspar, a peak at 310–320°C was analyzed.Using this approach, discrepancies between natural and laboratory DRCs have been observed for the same mineral material as natural OSL signal intensities saturate at absorbed radiation doses lower than the pragmatic upper limit defined by laboratory DRCs, leading to increasing age underestimation with depth without a metric for questioning the age reliability. The present study explores a means of defining the upper limit for reliable luminescence ages for sedimentary records without an established chronologic framework, using a long ( 280m; Cohen et al., 2016) lacustrine record from Chew Bahir, Ethiopia, drilled as part of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP) and CRC806 "Our way to Europe". Laboratory saturation of OSL signals can be observed using a dose response curve (DRC) plotting OSL signal intensity against absorbed laboratory radiation dose.



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