Optical dating sediments

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Most luminescence dating methods rely on the assumption that the mineral grains were sufficiently "bleached" at the time of the event being dated.

The single aliquot regenerative dose (SAR) protocol offers the opportunity of exploring, relatively simply, the existence of a ‘universal’ growth curve for use in dating using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL).

A test dose is used in the SAR procedure to monitor and correct for sensitivity change occurring either over the burial period, or as a result of thermal pretreatments during the measurement procedure.

However, this test dose can also be used to correct for variations in signal intensity between individual aliquots, thus enabling the comparison of growth response with dose for many different aliquots and samples, even for measurements made using different instruments.

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It uses various methods to stimulate and measure luminescence It includes techniques such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL), and thermoluminescence (TL)."Optical dating" typically refers to OSL and IRSL, but not TL.All sediments and soils contain trace amounts of radioactive isotopes of elements such as potassium, uranium, thorium, and rubidium.Although infrared-stimulated luminescence (IRSL) signals in feldspars can be bleached rapidly by sunlight, there could still be a small amount of IRSL signal remaining in sediment grains if they have experienced only relatively short sunlight exposure before deposition.This remaining signal results in a “remnant dose” stored in the grain and is important for young samples but negligible for old samples.

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