Special Issue "Methods in Dating and Other Applications using Luminescence"

A special issue of Methods and Protocols (ISSN 2409-9279).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. James K. Feathers
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Interests: luminescence dating applications in archaeology and geology, ceramic chronology, chronology of early people in the New World, dating structures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The phenomenon of using luminescence to date materials began in the 1960s and 1970s in the context of dating pottery from archaeological sites. Its applications spread to sediments, both geological and archaeological, in the 1980s. Substantial developments in methods, including the introduction of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) and the development of single-aliquot and single-grain techniques, over the past 30 years have made luminescence dating one of the major chronological tools in Quaternary science. Not only have the kinds of dating applications expanded, but luminescence is increasingly being used to address other kinds of questions. The latter include rates of landscape exhumation, fluvial transport dynamics, the sourcing and transport rates of sedimentary grains, soil development including mixing from bioturbation, and the incidence of wildfires. This Issue hopes to compile papers on cutting-edge methodology in dating and other applications. Potential topics include thermochronometry, sediment provenience, dating sediments older than 100,000 years or younger than 100 years, dating rock surfaces, dating archaeological structures, statistical models for single-grain equivalent dose distributions, anomalous fading in feldspars, variations in luminescence sensitivity of both quartz and feldspars, radio-fluorescence, improving dating precision, time-resolved luminescence, dose rate heterogeneity, exposure dating, modeling bioturbation, spectral applications of luminescence, novel stimulation modes, and bleaching during fluvial transport.  A younger generation of practitioners, who have earned their degrees in the last 10 years, is driving much of the methodological innovation in luminescence, and these younger scientists are particularly encouraged to submit papers.

Prof. Dr. James K. Feathers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Luminescence dating methods
  • Single-grain dating
  • Quartz and Feldspar luminescence properties
  • Thermochronometry
  • Luminescence provenience
  • Fluvial dynamics
  • Soil development.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Using to Reconstruct Radiation Transport through Complex Archaeological Environments
Methods Protoc. 2019, 2(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/mps2040091 - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
The DosiVox programme is used to reconstruct radiation transport in complex depositional environments. Using two archaeological case studies from ancient Egypt, the burial environments for a selection of ceramic vessels are reconstructed using the DosiVox programme, allowing the simulation of the emission and [...] Read more.
The DosiVox programme is used to reconstruct radiation transport in complex depositional environments. Using two archaeological case studies from ancient Egypt, the burial environments for a selection of ceramic vessels are reconstructed using the DosiVox programme, allowing the simulation of the emission and transport of radiation throughout these burial environments. From this simulation we can extract the external dose rate of the archaeological samples, a measurement necessary for determine a luminescence age. We describe in detail how DosiVox can be used to best advantage at sites with complex depositional histories and highlight that DosiVox is a valuable tool in luminescence dating. This work illustrates that DosiVox is, at present, unparalleled in reconstructing a more accurate and detailed external gamma dose rate which can significantly improve upon simplistic scaled geometric models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods in Dating and Other Applications using Luminescence)
Open AccessArticle
Testing Luminescence Dating Methods for Small Samples from Very Young Fluvial Deposits
Methods Protoc. 2019, 2(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/mps2040090 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
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. Initial quartz optically stimulated [...] Read more.
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. Initial quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating feasibility studies have concentrated on spit and bar deposits in the Rio Tapajós. 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. The characteristics of OSL from small (~5 cm) sub-samples from ~65 cm by ~2 cm diameter vertical cores are quite remarkable. 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. These characteristics enable measurement of very small signals with reasonable precision and, using modified single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) approaches, equivalent doses as low as ~4 mGy can be obtained. 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. Dose rates calculated from combined inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry/inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-MS/ICP-OES) and high-resolution gamma spectrometry range from ~0.3 to 0.5 mGya−1, and OSL ages for features so far investigated range from 13 to 34 years to several 100 years. Sampled sands are rich in quartz and yields of 212–250 μm or 250–310 μm grains indicate high-resolution sampling at 1–2 cm intervals is possible. 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods in Dating and Other Applications using Luminescence)
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Open AccessArticle
Sampling Methods for Luminescence Dating of Subsurface Deposits from Cores
Methods Protoc. 2019, 2(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/mps2040088 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Study of subsurface deposits often requires coring or drilling to obtain samples for sedimentologic and geochemical analysis. Geochronology is a critical piece of information for stratigraphic correlation and rate calculations. Increasingly, luminescence dating is applied to sediment cores to obtain depositional ages. This [...] Read more.
Study of subsurface deposits often requires coring or drilling to obtain samples for sedimentologic and geochemical analysis. Geochronology is a critical piece of information for stratigraphic correlation and rate calculations. Increasingly, luminescence dating is applied to sediment cores to obtain depositional ages. This paper provides examples and discussion of guidelines for sampling sediment core for luminescence dating. Preferred protocols are dependent on the extraction method, sedimentology, core integrity, and storage conditions. The methods discussed include subsampling of sediment in opaque core-liners, cores without liners, previously open (split) cores, bucket auger samples, and cuttings, under red lighting conditions. Two important factors for luminescence sampling of sediment core relate to the integrity of the natural luminescence signal and the representation of the dose rate environment. The equivalent dose sample should remain light-safe such that the burial dose is not reset (zeroed) by light exposure. The sediment sampled for dose rate analyses must accurately represent all units within at least 15 cm above and below the equivalent dose sample. Where lithologic changes occur, units should be sampled individually for dose rate determination. Sediment core extraction methods vary from portable, hand-operated devices to large truck- or vessel-mounted drill rigs. We provide recommendations for luminescence sampling approaches from subsurface coring technologies and downhole samplers that span shallow to deep sample depths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods in Dating and Other Applications using Luminescence)

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Open AccessProtocol
Transferring Grains from Single-Grain Luminescence Discs to SEM Specimen Stubs
Methods Protoc. 2019, 2(4), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/mps2040087 (registering DOI) - 21 Nov 2019
Abstract
The grain transfer protocol presents a step-by-step guide on how to successfully transfer positioned grains from a single-grain luminescence disc to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) specimen stub and how to transport them between laboratories. Single-grain luminescence analysis allows the determination of luminescence [...] Read more.
The grain transfer protocol presents a step-by-step guide on how to successfully transfer positioned grains from a single-grain luminescence disc to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) specimen stub and how to transport them between laboratories. Single-grain luminescence analysis allows the determination of luminescence characteristics for individual sand-sized grains. By combining such luminescence data with other grain properties such as geochemical composition, shape, or structure also at single-grain level, it is possible to investigate factors controlling luminescence signals or study other material properties. The non-luminescence properties are typically measured in another instrument; thus, grains need to be transferred between machines and sample holders, and sometimes also between laboratories. It is then important that the position of each grain is known and stable so that the properties from the same grain are compared. By providing an easily observable orientation marker on the specimen stub, the hundred numbered grains from the single-grain disc can be transferred and later identified when analyzed in the SEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methods in Dating and Other Applications using Luminescence)
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