During the 1960s and 70s, the Oxford University Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art led in the development of TL as a method of dating archaeological materials. A sediment core taken from a tidal mudflat in Ho Bugt in the northernmost part of the Wadden Sea in Denmark is used to explore the application of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to young fine-grained estuarine sediments, using Cs Sellafield peak from 1980 as independent age control.This page was contributed by Dr Georgina King from the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory in the Institute for Geography and Earth Sciences. OSL is used on glacial landforms that contain sand, such as sandur or sediments in glacial streams. | Calculating Age | Challenges for OSL | Case studies of OSL dating in glacial environments | References | Comments | Another way of dating glacial landforms is optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL). Luminescence dating is good for between a few hundred to (at least) several hundred thousand years, making it much more useful than carbon dating.The term luminescence refers to the energy emitted as light from minerals such as quartz and feldspar after they've been exposed to an ionizing radiation of some sort.
Crystalline rock types and soils collect energy from the radioactive decay of cosmic uranium, thorium, and potassium-40.Despite the anticipated difficulties of weak luminescence signals and incomplete resetting of residual radiation dose prior to deposition, the OSL ages from the sediment core ranged from 7.0±1.5 at the surface to 305±16 years (68 cm depth).OSL- and Pb-dates were in good agreement back to ∼1975, and even as far back as ∼1945 using the CRS-model.Artifacts which can be dated using these methods include ceramics, burned lithics, burned bricks and soil from hearths (TL), and unburned stone surfaces that were exposed to light and then buried (OSL).