Luminescence Dating

As the measurement system is highly sensitive and includes a reference radiation source, it is widely used for determining radiation doses in natural and artificial materials with applications in geological and archaeological dating, forensic and accident dosimetry, and radiation protection. At present, more than units have been manufactured and delivered to outstanding research laboratories all over the world. For a specification of the reader and its many available options, see Reader details. This is to a large extent due to the after-sales service provided to the end-users. The service comprises day-to-day accessibility via e-mail or phone, and if necessary, repair services at our laboratories or on site. With approximately students and employees DTU is the largest technical university in Denmark.

The Risø TL/OSL reader

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A laboratory model of the combined TL/OSL ready developed by Risø National Laboratory. (Image by courtesy of Risø National Laboratory).

Over the last 60 years, luminescence dating has developed into a robust chronometer for applications in earth sciences and archaeology. The technique is particularly useful for dating materials ranging in age from a few decades to around ,—, years. In this chapter, following a brief outline of the historical development of the dating method, basic principles behind the technique are discussed.

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. Sample collection methods are also reviewed, as well as types of materials that can be dated.


Luminescence dating is a geochronological technique that spans the Late Quaternary. It is particularly useful for minerogenic sediments, for example as optically stimulated luminescence OSL dating of quartz and infrared stimulated luminescence IRSL dating of feldspar. Thermoluminescence TL dating can also be used to determine the age of pottery.

Half a century after the publication of the first Thermoluminescence (TL) ages, the field of Luminescence Dating has reached a level of maturity.

This excavation found additional brick walls covering the top and sides of a rock wall, which according to historical records was built between AD and In this paper, we use optically stimulated luminescence OSL to date the brick attachments in order to understand the construction history of Songkhla City Wall. In total, eight brick samples were collected from the top five samples and the side three samples of the rock wall.

All but one sample have excellent OSL properties and the exception is explained by limited burning of this particular brick during the production process, as also indicated by material properties. The major challenge of this study was the correct reconstruction of the dose rate due to the complex situation onside and the limited documentation. Despite these limitations, our results imply that the rock wall and the bricks attached to its side are contemporaneous.

Two samples dating to the latest nineteenth century may imply a later restoration phase. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Rent this article via DeepDyve.

Luminescence dating

With support from the National Science Foundation, the University of Washington luminescence dating laboratory headed by Dr. Because of its increased efficiency over the instrument the laboratory currently employs, the Riso machine will both increase throughput and decrease cost per sample. The Washington laboratory is the sole facility in the United States which routinely provides several types of luminescence analysis TL, OSL, IRSL for archaeological samples and the resultant dates have come to play an increasingly important function for archaeologists.

Because organic materials are present in only a limited number of sites many such occurrences are not amenable to radiocarbon dating and often luminescence provides the only alternative. Using a range of approaches it often possible to obtain dates from either ceramics or soil and in the former case luminescence has an advantage over radiocarbon since it can directly date the object of interest rather than associated material.

50 ◦C nor any OSL dating approach on quartz yielded re- liable results. mated Risø TL/OSL Reader (TL-DA 12) with a calibrated. 90Sr/90Y.

This trapped signal is light sensitive and builds up over time during a period of no light exposure during deposition or burial but when exposed to light natural sunlight or artificial light in a laboratory the signal is released from the traps in the form of light — called luminescence. In this facility we aim to sample these minerals found in all sediments without exposing them to light so that we can stimulate the trapped signal within controlled laboratory conditions with heat thermoluminescence — TL or light optically stimulated-luminescence — OSL.

As most sedimentary processes or events are based on the deposition of sediment these depositional ages are critical to geomorphological research. In addition, the age of sediment deposition is also crucial for the evidence found within the sediment such as pollen, fossils and artefacts and therefore the technique is relevant for paleoclimatology, archaeological and paleontological research. Therefore the facility supports existing research programs investigating climate change, natural hazards, coastal and river management, and human-environment interactions.

The facility houses state-of-the-art luminescence preparation and measuring equipment within two specially designed subdued red-light laboratories.

Lund Luminescence Laboratory

Portable Spectrofluorimeter for non-invasive analysis of cultural heritage artworks using LED sources. Luminescence spectroscopy – Spatially resolved luminescence – Time resolved luminescence – Electron spin resonance ESR. Flint and heated rocks – Ceramics and pottery – Unheated rock surfaces – Tooth enamel and quartz grains – Sediment dating. LexEva is a newly released evaluation software developed for analysis in luminescence research and dating.

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TL dating uses heat to stimulate the luminescence signal, whereas OSL dating uses light. Blue-green light is typically used for quartz OSL dating and infrared.

Luminescence dating is based on the principle that certain naturally occurring minerals e. Depending on the type of stimulation source, the phenomenon is termed thermally stimulated luminescence TL or optically stimulated luminescence OSL. Luminescence dating requires a proper resetting of the previously acquired pre depositional luminescence in the natural minerals into a very low level natural zeroing event , either by exposure to sun light during pre-depositional transportation by wind, water etc.

Following the natural zeroing event and subsequent burial, the natural minerals begin luminescence acquisition afresh from the ionizing radiation alpha, beta and gamma constantly provided by the decay of radioactive elements U, Th, K40, Rb present in the sediments and also from the cosmic rays. For calculating the age, the radiation energy stored in the mineral known as Paleodose and the annual radioactivity rate annual dose from the surrounding sediments has to be calculated.

The time elapsed since sedimentation, i. Luminescence dating provides absolute ages and has very important application in Quaternary geology and archaeology. Sediment Dating : Sediment sample should be collected in steel pipe to avoid any exposure to sun light. About gm sample is required.

Department of Human Evolution

Luminescence dating is a technique used to date Quaternary sediments and for determining when ancient materials such as pottery, ceramics, bricks or tiles were last heated. The technique can be applied to material from about to several hundred thousand years old. It is primarily a research facility for the School and for collaborators in New Zealand.

One room serves as preparation laboratory, where all incoming samples are unpacked and chemically treated to purify the sample and extract the desired minerals in the right grain size. Please contact Ningsheng Wang MSc.

archaeological dating, forensic and accident dosimetry, and radiation protection. Several state-of-the-art attachments to the TL/OSL reader allow investigations.

The impetus behind this study is to understand the sedimentological dynamics of very young fluvial systems in the Amazon River catchment and relate these to land use change and modern analogue studies of tidal rhythmites in the geologic record. Many of these features have an appearance of freshly deposited pristine sand, and these observations and information from anecdotal evidence and LandSat imagery suggest an apparent decadal stability.

Signals from medium-sized aliquots 5 mm diameter exhibit very high specific luminescence sensitivity, have excellent dose recovery and recycling, essentially independent of preheat, and show minimal heat transfer even at the highest preheats. Significant recuperation is observed for samples from two of the study sites and, in these instances, either the acceptance threshold was increased or growth curves were forced through the origin; recuperation is considered most likely to be a measurement artefact given the very small size of natural signals.

Despite the use of medium-sized aliquots to ensure the recovery of very dim natural OSL signals, these results demonstrate the potential of OSL for studying very young active fluvial processes in these settings. An important facet of the development of a geochronological technique is the investigation of potential age range. Much recent work in the luminescence field has focused on maximum achievable ages using high-temperature post-infrared infrared pIRIR signals from feldspars [ 1 , 2 ].

In contrast for quartz optically stimulated luminescence OSL , the more efficient signal resetting coupled with environments where grain reworking is evident make it well suited to assessment of minimum achievable age. Notable examples are studies of young fluvial deposits [ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ] and dunes [ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ]. Regarding the application of OSL dating to fluvial sediments in the Amazon region, a number of studies have used the technique to try to constrain the origin and development of the drainage system, documenting Mid—Late Pleistocene ages [ 12 , 13 , 14 ], and OSL analyses have also been carried out to investigate the Late Pleistocene to Holocene development of fluvial bars [ 15 ].

The impetus behind this work was to investigate the feasibility of optically stimulated luminescence OSL dating of very young fluvial and shoreline landforms in the Amazon River catchment. The ultimate goal of the study is to use OSL to help understand the sedimentological dynamics of fluvial systems in the Amazon. This has relevance to the important issue of the anthropogenic effect of decades of land use and land cover change on the Amazon biome [ 16 , 17 , 18 ], that has impacted the stock of carbon and biodiversity [ 19 , 20 ] and resulted in erosion in many areas of the basin including along the rivers [ 21 ].

Furthermore, the Amazon is subject to significant marine tides, which propagate inland km from the mouth region, and OSL data have the potential to contribute to depositional models for modern analogues of ancient tidal rhythmites [ 22 ].

Video 8 of 9 — TL Dating Spout Run Paleo Indian Ceremonial Grounds