Proposing new approaches for dating young volcanic eruptions by luminescence methods
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Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, 3012, Bern, Switzerland
Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève, route de Malagnou 1, CP 6434, 1211, Genève, Switzerland
Online publication date: 2011-12-25
Publication date: 2012-03-01
Geochronometria 2012;39(1):48-56
The application of luminescence dating to young volcanic sediments has been first investigated over three decades ago, but it was only with the technical innovations of the last decade that such analyses became viable. While current analytical procedures show promise for dating late Quaternary volcanic events, most efforts have been aimed at unconsolidated volcanic tephra. Investigations into direct dating of lava flows or of non-heated volcanoclastics like phreatic explosion layers, however, remain scarce. These volcanic deposits are of common occurrence and represent important chrono- and volcanostratigraphic markers. Their age determination is therefore of great importance in volcanologic, tectonic, geomorphological and climate studies. In this article, we propose the use of phreatic explosion deposits and xenolithic inclusions in lava flows as target materials for luminescence dating applications. The main focus is on the crucial criterion whether it is probable that such materials experience complete luminescence signal resetting during the volcanic event to be dated. This is argued based on the findings from existing literature, model calculations and laboratory tests.
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