Optically stimulated luminescence dating laboratory

Luminescence Dating Laboratory Department of Geography University of Georgia GGY Building, Room 3AS Athens, GA, 30602-2502 Phone : 706-542-2322/2354 FAX : 706-542-2388 Director: George A. Brook WEBSITE: University of Georgia Luminescence Dating Laboratory began operations in early 2002.The lab has produced more than 300 OSL ages (from 140 years to 120,000 years) for aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine, and marine sediments, as well as pottery, artifacts and secondary carbonate.This "dark (amber-light only) lab" contains rooms for sample storage, sample preparation, and OSL readers. This lab primarily serves UNL faculty and graduate students, but collaborative research is ongoing with colleagues from other institutions.We presently have a Daybreak TL/OSL Reader and a RISO OSL Reader, and emphasize the single-aliquot regenerative technique. As the OSL of a sediment is quickly lost when exposed to sunlight (tens of seconds) many sediments are bleached (lack an OSL signal) when deposited and buried.After deposition these sediments accumulate luminescence which can be measured allowing the age of burial to be determined.Through geologic time, quartz minerals accumulate a luminescence signal as ionizing radiation excites electrons within parent nuclei in the crystal lattice.A certain percent of the freed electrons become trapped in defects or holes in the crystal lattice of the quartz sand grain (referred to as luminescent centers) and accumulate over time (Aitken, 1998).

Luminescence dating, particularly using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), is revolutionizing Quaternary and archaeological science because it allows dating of sediments and artifacts that perhaps 10 years ago could not be dated.

The School of Geography and the Environment, in association with the RLAHA Luminescence Dating Laboratory, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, houses a state of the art luminescence dating facility: the Oxford Luminescence Dating Laboratory (OLD).

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.

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.

In addition our researchers continuously engage in efforts to improve and develop the methodology and to further advance our knowledge on the fundamental physical mechanisms underlying the dating method.

In order to relate the luminescence given off by the sample to an age, we first need to obtain the dose equivalent to the burial dose.

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