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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2149/3125

Title: Luminescence profiling of postglacial eolian dunes in central and northern Alberta using a portable OSL reader
Authors: Munyikwa, Ken
Keywords: Luminescence dating
Profiling
Portable OSL reader
Eolian dunes
Issue Date: 2-Nov-2011
Series/Report no.: 92.927.G1300;
Abstract: Regular luminescence dating is a lengthy procedure that entails elaborate sample preparation as well as multiple measurements to arrive at an age of a given sample. In practice, not all samples that may appear datable in the field actually yield useful information in the lab. Consequently, because sample luminescence measurement is only carried out near the end of the dating procedure, a significant amount of time and resources could be expended on samples that ultimately produce no useful data. A technique that can be used to discriminate between samples that could potentially yield useful information and those that would not is luminescence profiling (Bishop et al., 2006; Burbidge et al., 2007; Sanderson and Murphy, 2010). Luminescence profiling does not necessarily provide an absolute age. Instead, it enables one to construct a profile that shows a variation of the luminescence signal with depth. The luminescence signal is dependent on variables such as the burial age and luminescence sensitivity of the sediment, as well as the local dose rates and level of bleaching experienced prior to burial. Where the burial age is the main variable, the luminescence profile could be seen as a proxy for the chronostratigraphy and it enables one to identify changes such as significant age differences between successive strata within a given section, or age variations across erosional contacts. Luminescence profiling measurements can be carried out rapidly in the lab or in the field using a portable OSL reader. Analysis can be done on bulk samples, negating the need to perform time consuming mineralogical separations. In this study, a portable OSL reader is employed to construct luminescence profiles of postglacial eolian dunes from selected sites in central and northern Alberta. In places, the dunes are underlain by glaciofluvial sands but it is often difficult to distinguish between the eolian deposits and the glaciofluvial sediments based on their physical appearances alone. Results from the study show that luminescence profiling can differentiate between the two types of deposits because of differences in their depositional ages and this enables the demarcation of the bases of the dunes. The identification of the dune bottom permits appropriately targeted sample collection for regular luminescence dating in order to constrain the timing of the initiation of eolian deposition in the region. Luminescence profiling is also used in this study to identify depositional breaks of extended duration within the eolian sequences. Session: Quaternary Paleoenvironments
Description: My oral presentation at GEOHYDRO-2011 was at 11:00 am (Tues, Aug 30, 2011) in the session Quaternary Geology, Paleoenvironments and Geomorphology. After my power point presentation (30 slides) the floor was opened for questions. Colleagues who are doing similar geochronological dating work in Canada asked questions which essentially wanted to know about our methodological approaches and how they related to protocols they were using in their labs. In particular they wanted to know about the following: • what methods we use to normalize our samples (weight or irradiation) • what sources we use for irradiating our samples • if we have problems with signal contamination from feldspar when using post –IR blue-OSL stimulation with the portable OSL reader on bulk samples These were very constructive questions and, following my responses, I got some very interesting feedback. We will incorporate some of this feedback as we proceed with our research. Later during the conference I also had the opportunity to talk at great length with colleagues from the University of Quebec at Montreal who also have a luminescence dating lab. The exchanges we had where educative and we plan to continue with the interaction in future.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2149/3125
Appears in Collections:Academic and Professional Development Fund Report 2011-2012

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