Department of Human Evolution
Optically Stimulated Luminescence OSL dating has emerged within the last 20 years as a key Quaternary absolute dating tool, with a wide range of terrestrial and marine applications. Optical dating techniques employ ubiquitous quartz or feldspar grains to directly date the deposition of sedimentary units. As such, the optical dating methods allow the systematic chronological evaluation of Quaternary-age sedimentary sequences.
Within the School of Geography and the Environment, the OLD Laboratory provides support particularly for the Landscape Dynamics research cluster, with a specific focus on low latitude environment and climate change, geoarchaeology and geomorphology.
Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory in the Landscape Dynamics research cluster at the School of Geography and the Environment.
In luminescence dating, the signal accumulates within minerals over time as a function of low level, natural radiation exposure. The datable event is that point in time when the signal was reset to zero and started to grow again. The signal is essentially a dosimeter, converting to a chronometer by estimating the rate of dose absorption. Find out about our luminescence dating service.
The time dependent signal is sourced from naturally ubiquitous silt or sand sized mineral grains; principally quartz or feldspar. Age estimates can be provided for:.
Luminescence Dating Laboratory
Under the direction of Doctor M. Dias, this laboratory provides dating service for ceramics, lithics, and sediments using optically-stimulated luminescence OSL and thermoluminescence TL. This allows researchers to date materials that cannot be dated using other techniques. Additionally, since it is capable of directly dating cultural materials such as ceramics, the bridging arguments between dating events and target events are minimized. With this method we are also capable of dating sediments in order to elucidate depositional sequences at archaeological sites.
If you are interested in developing a project, or in the dating or other luminescence analysis of a site or group of samples, please contact us as early as possible so that we can help to optimise sampling strategy and design of the work program to address the questions that you intend to investigate.
Luminescence dating, particularly using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), is revolutionizing Quaternary and archaeological science because it allows.
This paper aims to provide an overview concerning the optically stimulated luminescence OSL dating method and its applications for geomorphological research in France. An outline of the general physical principles of luminescence dating is given. 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. Hence it underlines the increasing importance of the method to geomorphological research, especially by contributing to the development of quantitative geomorphology.
They are now largely used to date not only palaeontological or organic remains, but also minerals that characterise detrital clastic sedimentary material. The most common methods applied to minerals are cosmogenic radionuclides, electron spin resonance ESR and luminescence techniques. The latter were first applied to burned minerals from archaeological artefacts [thermoluminescence TL method]. Improvements of this technique led to the development, for more than twenty years, of the optical dating method [commonly referred to as Optically Stimuled Luminescence OSL ] which is now applied to sediments from various origins Wintle, The aim of this paper is to provide people involved in geomorphological research a global overview about the principles and procedures of optical dating, from the field sampling to the age interpretation.
Most of the publications actually focus on one part of either the method e. The general principles of the method are described first.
The OSL Lab
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.
Page Optically stimulated luminescence of site Institute of Earth Surface as a glacial moraine (OSL dating) or alternatively the erosion and/or uplift rate of a The OSL laboratory is presently equipped with a single Risø TL-DA reader with.
The age is obtained by measuring the radiation dose received by the sample since it was last bleached by sunlight and dividing this estimate by the dose rate from environmental sources of ionising radiation. Past and present research interests span a wide geographic compass, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, and topics as diverse as the evolution and behaviour of humans Homo sapiens, Homo floresiensis and Homo neanderthalensis , their response to climatic changes over the past , years, and their interaction with the indigenous fauna and flora.
The OSL dating laboratory is also at the forefront of technical advances in the analysis and interpretation of OSL data collected from single sand-sized grains of quartz, building on the pioneering research of Roberts and Jacobs in this field. The state-of-the-art laboratory consists of separate rooms for the preparation and measurement of quartz and feldspar grains, as well as storage rooms for quarantined material.
Optically stimulated luminescence
The DRI E. The DRILL is a research laboratory dedicated to fundamental investigations in the luminescence properties of earth materials, and to the application of luminescence dating techniques to geomorphological, geological, and archeological problems. The DRILL welcomes collaboration with research institute and university faculty, consultants, and government agency researchers.
The DRILL research staff can collaborate on proposals, contribute to grant writing, and consult on study design. We can also arrange training for undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and visiting researchers.
The Liverpool Luminescence Laboratory is a world-class research facility with the capabilities to perform cutting-edge luminescence dating techniques for determining the timing of sediment deposition or exposure. Please e-mail Dr Smedley rachel. Luminescence dating is a geochronological technique that can determine the timing of sediment deposition using quartz or feldspar.
It relies upon the fundamental principle that mineral grains can store and release energy produced by radioactive decay. The radioactive decay of K, Rb, U and Th emits energy in the form of alpha and beta particles, and gamma rays, which exposes grains to an environmental dose-rate, in addition to the dose provided by the cosmic rays. This energy recharges the battery over time during burial. Defects or impurities in the crystal lattice of quartz or feldspar grains trap electrons, which are then excited and released when stimulated by light or heat.
We can then determine the time elapsed since the grain was last exposed to light or heat by measuring how much energy is stored in the grain today and dividing it by the environmental dose-rate it was exposed to throughout burial.
Luminescence dating facility
At the Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating we develop new and improved luminescence dating methods, and we apply luminescence dating in collaboration with NCL partners and external users. We develop new and improved luminescence dating methods, and we apply luminescence dating in collaboration with NCL partners and external users. The Netherlands Centre for Luminescence dating is a collaboration of six universities and research centres in The Netherlands.
Lund Luminescence Laboratory. Luminescence dating is a geochronological technique that spans the Late Quaternary. It is particularly useful.
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. We use optically stimulated luminescence OSL to date aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine and shallow water marine sediments, as well as most quartz or feldspar-bearing objects, which have seen sunlight or intense heat during deposition. These sediments can be used to study ancient earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and volcanic eruptions, as well as climate change, glaciation and tectonic uplift.
We are also involved in research projects requiring gammaspectrometry. Applications involve measurement of artificial radionuclides in sediments such as Cs from atomic bomb tests or Am from the Chernobyl accident or measurement of sedimentation rates using naturally occurring Pb. Our equipment has a very high efficiency and ultra-low background so can be used to measure tiny amounts of radionuclides.
DRI Luminescence Laboratory
Directed by Professor Mark D. Bateman, the Sheffield Luminescence Dating Facility was established in In recent years samples from all around the world have been dated, including archaeological sediments from the USA and South Africa, relict cold-climate desert sands from Arctic Canada, dune sands from Zambia, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands and UK and lake sediments from Mexico.
Both quartz and many feldspar minerals act as dosimeters recording their exposure to this ionizing radiation. After being exposed to radiation these minerals, when stimulated by either heat or light, emit light.
Standard Operating Procedure. Instruments: The OSL laboratory, GSI, Faridabad, is equipped with three OSL dating instruments. Risoe TL/OSL DA-.
The Heidelberg Luminescence Laboratory at the Institute of Geography conducts optical dating of sediments and stone surfaces as well as scientific and technological development of the optical stimulated luminescence technique. Luminescence dating is a dosimetric dating technique based on the steady decay of radionuclides present almost everywhere in the natural environment and the steadily increasing radiation damage caused in non-conductors, like mineral grains.
The natural radioactivity functions as a driving clockwork and the mineral grains serve as a readable clock. The clock ticks within sedimentary deposits and other archives which are used by researchers in the palaeo-environmental and archaeological sciences to reconstruct the evolution of a landscape, the history of an archaeological site or the interaction of man and his environment in the geological and historical past, in disciplines such as geomorphology , geoarchaeology and archaeometry.
As a result of the radioactive decay of the radionuclides mainly 40 K and 87 Rb and the radioactive decay chains mainly from U, U and Th present in a sedimentary deposit, an ionizing radiation is emitted which leads to measurable radiation damages within the crystal lattices of the quartz and feldspar minerals Fig. Within the non-conductors the activated electrons are lifted from the valence band to the conduction band and may be trapped at lattice defects where they are stored in meta-stabile states Fig.
Luminescence dating lab
Las Vegas, N. Some research applications include determining how long a sample of sediment has been buried or the time since a clay pot was fired. With thermal luminescence dating, the samples are heated in order to give off light. Sammeth said there are many research applications for the new instruments, ranging from dating sediments in a dried up lake bed to dating an archaeological artifact like a pot shard.
During a sabbatical fall semester , Sammeth gained hands-on experience using the time- dating instruments for research.
The USGS Luminescence Geochronology Lab is a modern luminescence dating facility with many capabilities including Quartz Single Aliquot Optically Stimulated.
Luminescence dating depends on the ability of minerals to store energy in the form of trapped charge carriers when exposed to ionising radiation. Stimulation of the system, by heat in the case of thermoluminescence TL , or by light in the case of photo-stimulated luminescence PSL , or optically stimulated luminescence OSL. Following an initial zeroing event, for example heating of ceramics and burnt stones, or optical bleaching of certain classes of sediments, the system acquires an increasing luminescence signal in response to exposure to background sources of ionising radiation.
Luminescence dating is based on quantifying both the radiation dose received by a sample since its zeroing event, and the dose rate which it has experienced during the accumulation period. The technique can be applied to a wide variety of heated materials, including archaeological ceramics, burnt stones, burnt flints, and contact-heated soils and sediments associated with archaeological or natural events. Optically bleached materials of interest to quaternary science include aeolian, fluvial, alluvial, and marine sediments.
Luminescence dating can be applied to the age range from present to approximately , years, thus spanning critical time-scales for human development and quaternary landscape formation. Luminescence dating techniques can also be used for dose reconstruction, following accidental exposure to ionising radiation, and to assess thermal exposure for example of concrete structures subject to fire damage. About the Lab. Pulsed PSL System.
Liverpool Luminescence Laboratory
Luminescence Dating Laboratory, specializes in geologic and archaeologic applications, and luminescence community leader. Connecticut. Bortolot, Victor.
Geochronology Group. The co-operating scientists at the INW are Prof. Frans De Corte and PhD. Luminescence dating is based on the measurement of the amount of light that is released upon thermal or optical stimulation, by minerals such as quartz and feldspar. The light signal is a measure of the radiation dose that has accumulated in these minerals through time. When they are exposed to sunlight during transportation in the air the latent luminescence signal in the quartz and feldspar grains is bleached down to a negligible level and the luminescence “clock” is set to zero.
After deposition of the grains and burial under new sediment, their latent luminescence signal accumulates again because they absorb the natural ionising radiation that is emitted by the surrounding sediment. The flux of ionising radiation a -, b -, g -rays is produced by the very low concentrations of uranium U, U , thorium Th , potassium 40 K and 87 Rb in the sediments. A small amount is cosmic radiation. The total radiation dose that is accumulated in this way is called the palaeodose.
The age that is determined corresponds to the time span between the removal of the luminescence signal by sunlight just before deposition and the removal of the newly accumulated palaeodose by thermal or optical stimulation in the laboratory. Stimulation by heat is called thermoluminescence TL and stimulation by light, optical stimulated luminescence OSL.
Thus, luminescence dating involves the determination of two major parameters: the palaeodose and the annual dose. Reliable age determinations can be obtained from 0.