Luminescence dating of periglacial sediments and structures

Authors

  • MARK D. BATEMAN

    1. Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATUM Volume 38, Issue 2, 399, Article first published online: 1 December 2008

  • Mark D. Bateman (e-mail: m.d.bateman@Sheffield.ac.uk), Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

Abstract

Advances in luminescence dating over the past 25 years have allowed initial problems in dating periglacial features to be largely overcome. In periglacial contexts, luminescence dating has been applied on aeolian sand-sheet deposits and dunes where coarse-grained quartz optically stimulated luminescence ages appear to give the most precise and accurate ages compared to other independent chronological evidence. Whereas sand sheets appear to have remained preserved from Lateglacial times in both North America and Europe, periglacial dunefields have experienced widespread reworking throughout the Holocene. Luminescence dating has also been applied to sediment infilling wedge and involution structures producing ages from the Lateglacial back to beyond 150 kyr. However, these are more complex depositional features and new work at the single-grain level highlights the possibility that single samples may contain multiple thermal contraction cracks of different ages as well as incompletely bleached sediment. Other periglacial deposits await further advances in luminescence or other chronometric techniques before their age can be determined with confidence.

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