Define luminescence dating

02-Apr-2017 11:16 by 4 Comments

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A case study of fluvial sands from the lower terrace of the Moselle valley is then presented to describe the range of field and laboratory procedures required for successful luminescence dating.The paper also reviews the place of OSL dating in geomorphological research in France and assesses its potential for further research, by focusing on the diversity of sedimentary environments and topics to which it can be usefully applied.

Luminescence dating (including thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence) is a type of dating methodology that measures the amount of light emitted from energy stored in certain rock types and derived soils to obtain an absolute date for a specific event that occurred in the past.

As a result, there is no upper date limit set by the sensitivity of the method itself, although other factors may limit the method's feasibility.

Two forms of luminescence dating are used by archaeologists to date events in the past: thermoluminescence (TL) or thermally stimulated luminescence (TSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to temperatures between 400 and 500°C; and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which measures energy emitted after an object has been exposed to daylight.

Optically-Stimulated Luminescence is a late Quaternary dating technique used to date the last time quartz sediment was exposed to light.

As sediment is transported by wind, water, or ice, it is exposed to sunlight and zeroed of any previous luminescence signal.

It is useful to geologists and archaeologists who want to know when such an event occurred.

It uses various methods to stimulate and measure luminescence.

To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.

This energy is lodged in the imperfect lattices of the mineral's crystals.

The released electrons emit a photon of light upon recombination at a similar site.

In order to relate the luminescence given off by the sample to an age, we first need to obtain the dose equivalent to the burial dose.

Heating these crystals (such as when a pottery vessel is fired or when rocks are heated) empties the stored energy, after which time the mineral begins absorbing energy again.