Optical dating of coarse-silt sized quartz from loess: Evaluation of equivalent dose determinations and SAR procedural checks

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This study discusses the values of equivalent dose (D e) determined for samples taken for optical dating from a loess section at Loveland, Iowa, North America. A modified single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) procedure was applied to quartz grains of 35-50 μ m diameter which were isolated using hydrofluorosilicic acid (H 2SiF 6). 'Preheat plots' were constructed to select appropriate D e values for use in subsequent age determinations. The D e values of the younger (Peoria loess) samples varied little with preheat temperatures between 160 and 300 {ring operator} C. However, the older (Pisgah Formation) samples showed a decrease in D e values with increasing preheat temperature, by as much as a factor of two. Interestingly, both younger and older samples could recover a known laboratory administered radiation dose for a range of preheat temperatures. These apparently contradictory findings present a dilemma regarding which D e values are the most appropriate to use for dating the samples. The behaviour of the samples is examined to investigate the cause of the variations in D e values with preheat temperature for older samples. In addition, two modified SAR procedures were tested in an attempt to generate more reproducible D e values. The data from the three SAR methods are examined, and the question of how to discriminate between D e values is discussed. This study demonstrates that preheat temperature can play a significant role in the determination of D e values. The use of plots of normalised luminescence signal (L x / T x) versus preheat temperature is proposed to supplement dose recovery tests and preheat plateau tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-929
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Measurements
Issue number7-8
Early online date21 Jul 2006
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2006


  • Coarse-silt
  • Loess
  • Loveland Iowa
  • Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL)
  • Procedural checks
  • Quartz
  • Single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR)


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