On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz

A. Timar-Gabor, Jan-Pieter Buylaert, B. Guralnik, O. Trandafir-Antohi, D. Constantin, V. Anechitei-Deacu, M. Jain, Andrew Sean Murray, N. Porat, Q. Hao, A. G. Wintle

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    Abstract

    There are two major problems commonly encountered when applying Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating in the high dose range: (i) age discrepancy between different grain sizes, and (ii) age underestimation. A marked and systematic discrepancy between fine-grain (4-11 μm) and coarse-grain (63-90 μm) quartz single aliquot regeneration protocol (SAR) ages has been reported previously for Romanian and Serbian loess >40 ka (De of ∼100 Gy), generally with fine-grain ages underestimating the depositional age. In this paper, we show a similar age pattern for two grain size fractions from Chinese loess, thus pointing to a potential worldwide phenomenon. While age underestimation is often attributed to signal saturation problems, this is not the case for fine grain material, which saturates at higher doses than coarse grains, yet begins to underestimate true ages earlier. Here we examine the dose response curves of quartz from different sedimentary contexts around the world, using a range of grain sizes (diameters of 4-11 μm, 11-30 μm, 35-50 μm, 63-90μm, 90-125μm, 125-180 μm, and 180-250 μm). All dose response curves can be adequately described by a sum of two saturating exponential functions, whose saturation characteristics (D0 values) are clearly anticorrelated with grain diameter (φ) through an inverse square root relationship, D0 = A/√φ, where A is a scaling factor. While the mechanism behind this grain-size dependency of saturation characteristics still needs to be understood, our results show that the observation of an extended SAR laboratory dose response curve does not necessarily enable high doses to be recorded accurately, or provide a corresponding extended age range.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRadiation Measurements
    Volume106
    Pages (from-to)464-471
    ISSN1350-4487
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Quartz
    • OSL
    • SAR
    • Dose response
    • Saturation characteristics
    • Grain size

    Cite this

    Timar-Gabor, A., Buylaert, J-P., Guralnik, B., Trandafir-Antohi, O., Constantin, D., Anechitei-Deacu, V., ... Wintle, A. G. (2017). On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz. Radiation Measurements, 106, 464-471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radmeas.2017.01.009
    Timar-Gabor, A. ; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter ; Guralnik, B. ; Trandafir-Antohi, O. ; Constantin, D. ; Anechitei-Deacu, V. ; Jain, M. ; Murray, Andrew Sean ; Porat, N. ; Hao, Q. ; Wintle, A. G. / On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz. In: Radiation Measurements. 2017 ; Vol. 106. pp. 464-471.
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    title = "On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz",
    abstract = "There are two major problems commonly encountered when applying Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating in the high dose range: (i) age discrepancy between different grain sizes, and (ii) age underestimation. A marked and systematic discrepancy between fine-grain (4-11 μm) and coarse-grain (63-90 μm) quartz single aliquot regeneration protocol (SAR) ages has been reported previously for Romanian and Serbian loess >40 ka (De of ∼100 Gy), generally with fine-grain ages underestimating the depositional age. In this paper, we show a similar age pattern for two grain size fractions from Chinese loess, thus pointing to a potential worldwide phenomenon. While age underestimation is often attributed to signal saturation problems, this is not the case for fine grain material, which saturates at higher doses than coarse grains, yet begins to underestimate true ages earlier. Here we examine the dose response curves of quartz from different sedimentary contexts around the world, using a range of grain sizes (diameters of 4-11 μm, 11-30 μm, 35-50 μm, 63-90μm, 90-125μm, 125-180 μm, and 180-250 μm). All dose response curves can be adequately described by a sum of two saturating exponential functions, whose saturation characteristics (D0 values) are clearly anticorrelated with grain diameter (φ) through an inverse square root relationship, D0 = A/√φ, where A is a scaling factor. While the mechanism behind this grain-size dependency of saturation characteristics still needs to be understood, our results show that the observation of an extended SAR laboratory dose response curve does not necessarily enable high doses to be recorded accurately, or provide a corresponding extended age range.",
    keywords = "Quartz, OSL, SAR, Dose response, Saturation characteristics, Grain size",
    author = "A. Timar-Gabor and Jan-Pieter Buylaert and B. Guralnik and O. Trandafir-Antohi and D. Constantin and V. Anechitei-Deacu and M. Jain and Murray, {Andrew Sean} and N. Porat and Q. Hao and Wintle, {A. G.}",
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    Timar-Gabor, A, Buylaert, J-P, Guralnik, B, Trandafir-Antohi, O, Constantin, D, Anechitei-Deacu, V, Jain, M, Murray, AS, Porat, N, Hao, Q & Wintle, AG 2017, 'On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz', Radiation Measurements, vol. 106, pp. 464-471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radmeas.2017.01.009

    On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz. / Timar-Gabor, A.; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Guralnik, B.; Trandafir-Antohi, O.; Constantin, D.; Anechitei-Deacu, V.; Jain, M.; Murray, Andrew Sean; Porat, N.; Hao, Q.; Wintle, A. G.

    In: Radiation Measurements, Vol. 106, 2017, p. 464-471.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz

    AU - Timar-Gabor, A.

    AU - Buylaert, Jan-Pieter

    AU - Guralnik, B.

    AU - Trandafir-Antohi, O.

    AU - Constantin, D.

    AU - Anechitei-Deacu, V.

    AU - Jain, M.

    AU - Murray, Andrew Sean

    AU - Porat, N.

    AU - Hao, Q.

    AU - Wintle, A. G.

    PY - 2017

    Y1 - 2017

    N2 - There are two major problems commonly encountered when applying Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating in the high dose range: (i) age discrepancy between different grain sizes, and (ii) age underestimation. A marked and systematic discrepancy between fine-grain (4-11 μm) and coarse-grain (63-90 μm) quartz single aliquot regeneration protocol (SAR) ages has been reported previously for Romanian and Serbian loess >40 ka (De of ∼100 Gy), generally with fine-grain ages underestimating the depositional age. In this paper, we show a similar age pattern for two grain size fractions from Chinese loess, thus pointing to a potential worldwide phenomenon. While age underestimation is often attributed to signal saturation problems, this is not the case for fine grain material, which saturates at higher doses than coarse grains, yet begins to underestimate true ages earlier. Here we examine the dose response curves of quartz from different sedimentary contexts around the world, using a range of grain sizes (diameters of 4-11 μm, 11-30 μm, 35-50 μm, 63-90μm, 90-125μm, 125-180 μm, and 180-250 μm). All dose response curves can be adequately described by a sum of two saturating exponential functions, whose saturation characteristics (D0 values) are clearly anticorrelated with grain diameter (φ) through an inverse square root relationship, D0 = A/√φ, where A is a scaling factor. While the mechanism behind this grain-size dependency of saturation characteristics still needs to be understood, our results show that the observation of an extended SAR laboratory dose response curve does not necessarily enable high doses to be recorded accurately, or provide a corresponding extended age range.

    AB - There are two major problems commonly encountered when applying Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating in the high dose range: (i) age discrepancy between different grain sizes, and (ii) age underestimation. A marked and systematic discrepancy between fine-grain (4-11 μm) and coarse-grain (63-90 μm) quartz single aliquot regeneration protocol (SAR) ages has been reported previously for Romanian and Serbian loess >40 ka (De of ∼100 Gy), generally with fine-grain ages underestimating the depositional age. In this paper, we show a similar age pattern for two grain size fractions from Chinese loess, thus pointing to a potential worldwide phenomenon. While age underestimation is often attributed to signal saturation problems, this is not the case for fine grain material, which saturates at higher doses than coarse grains, yet begins to underestimate true ages earlier. Here we examine the dose response curves of quartz from different sedimentary contexts around the world, using a range of grain sizes (diameters of 4-11 μm, 11-30 μm, 35-50 μm, 63-90μm, 90-125μm, 125-180 μm, and 180-250 μm). All dose response curves can be adequately described by a sum of two saturating exponential functions, whose saturation characteristics (D0 values) are clearly anticorrelated with grain diameter (φ) through an inverse square root relationship, D0 = A/√φ, where A is a scaling factor. While the mechanism behind this grain-size dependency of saturation characteristics still needs to be understood, our results show that the observation of an extended SAR laboratory dose response curve does not necessarily enable high doses to be recorded accurately, or provide a corresponding extended age range.

    KW - Quartz

    KW - OSL

    KW - SAR

    KW - Dose response

    KW - Saturation characteristics

    KW - Grain size

    U2 - 10.1016/j.radmeas.2017.01.009

    DO - 10.1016/j.radmeas.2017.01.009

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 106

    SP - 464

    EP - 471

    JO - Radiation Measurements

    JF - Radiation Measurements

    SN - 1350-4487

    ER -

    Timar-Gabor A, Buylaert J-P, Guralnik B, Trandafir-Antohi O, Constantin D, Anechitei-Deacu V et al. On the importance of grain size in luminescence dating using quartz. Radiation Measurements. 2017;106:464-471. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radmeas.2017.01.009