Extended-range luminescence dating of quartz and alkali feldspar from aeolian sediments in the eastern Mediterranean

Faershtein, Galina; Porat, Naomi; Matmon, Ari

Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) of quartz is an established technique for dating late Pleistocene to late Holocene sediments. Unfortunately, this method is often limited to up to 100 ka (thousands of years). Recent developments in new extended-range luminescence techniques show great potential for dating older sediments of middle and even early Pleistocene age. These methods include thermally transferred OSL (TT-OSL) and violet stimulated luminescence (VSL) for quartz and post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (pIRIR) for feldspar. Here we investigate the luminescence behaviour of the TT-OSL, VSL, and pIRIR signals of quartz and feldspar minerals of aeolian sediments of Nilotic origin from the eastern Mediterranean. We sampled a 15 m thick sequence (Kerem Shalom) comprising sandy calcic palaeosols, which is part of a sand sheet that covers an extensive region in south-western Israel. Dose recovery and bleaching experiments under natural conditions indicated that the pIRIRinline-formula250 signal is the most suitable for dating the Nilotic feldspar. Luminescence intensity profiles revealed natural saturation of the three signals at the same depth of inline-formula∼6 m, indicating that ages of samples below that depth are minimum ages. Using TT-OSL and pIRIRinline-formula250, a minimum age of 715 ka for the base of the section was obtained, suggesting aeolian sand accumulation along the eastern Mediterranean coastal plain already since the early Pleistocene. Our results indicate that both TT-OSL and pIRIRinline-formula250 can accurately date aeolian sediments of Nilotic origin up to 200 ka and that minimum ages can be provided for older samples up to the early Pleistocene.

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Faershtein, Galina / Porat, Naomi / Matmon, Ari: Extended-range luminescence dating of quartz and alkali feldspar from aeolian sediments in the eastern Mediterranean. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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