An assessment of the luminescence sensitivity of Australian quartz with respect to sediment history
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Online publication date: 2011-06-19
Publication date: 2011-09-01
Geochronometria 2011;38(3):199-208
This study provides a preliminary systematic characterisation of OSL sensitivity, with respect to sediment history, of single grains of Australian quartz from a variety of source rocks and depositional contexts. Samples from two distinct lithologies and with relatively short modern sedimentary histories were compared in an examination of the influence of rock type on OSL sensitivity. Sediments derived from weathered sandstone were found to be brighter than those from metamorphosed schists, suggesting that sensitivity may be inherited from the source rock and its earlier sedimentary history. Secondly, quartz from the same source, but different modes of deposition, was compared to assess the effect on sensitivity of nature of exposure to light during the most recent bleaching event. Quartz grain sensitivity appears not to vary depending on the mode of sediment deposition, suggesting that the nature of exposure to light during deposition is less important in the sensitisation process. This study highlights the complexity and variety of natural sedimentary quartz, demonstrating the limitations of an investigation based solely on OSL sensitivity. Further systematic investigation into the physical, geological and geomorphological characteristics of sediments is proposed to better understand the mechanisms of luminescence sensitisation in quartz.
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