Electron spin resonance (ESR) thermochronometry of the Hida range of the Japanese Alps: validation and future potential
The electron spin resonance (ESR) of quartz has previously been shown to have potential for determining rock cooling histories; however, this technique remains underdeveloped. In this study, we explore the ESR of a suite of samples from the Hida range of the Japanese Alps. We develop measurement protocols and models to constrain the natural trapped-charge concentration as well as the parameters that govern signal growth and signal thermal decay. The thermal stability of the Al and Ti centres is similar to that of the luminescence of feldspar. Inverting the ESR data for cooling yields similar thermal histories to paired luminescence data from the same samples. However, a series of synthetic inversions shows that whereas the luminescence of feldspar can only resolve minimum cooling histories of ∼160 ∘C Myr−1 over timescales of 103−5 years, quartz ESR may resolve cooling histories as low as 25–50 ∘C Myr−1 over timescales of 103−7 years. This difference arises because quartz ESR has a higher dating limit than the luminescence of feldspar. These results imply that quartz ESR will be widely applicable in the constraint of late-stage rock cooling histories, providing new insights into landscape evolution over late Quaternary timescales.