Mathematical model quantifies multiple daylight exposure and burial events for rock surfaces using luminescence dating

Trine Freiesleben, Reza Sohbati, Andrew Murray, Mayank Jain, Sahar al Khasawneh, Søren Hvidt, Bo Jakobsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Interest in the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of rock surfaces has increased significantly over the last few years, as the potential of the method has been explored. It has been realized that luminescence-depth profiles show qualitative evidence for multiple daylight exposure and burial events. To quantify both burial and exposure events a new mathematical model is developed by expanding the existing models of evolution of luminescence–depth profiles, to include repeated sequential events of burial and exposure to daylight. This new model is applied to an infrared stimulated luminescence-depth profile from a feldspar-rich granite cobble from an archaeological site near Aarhus, Denmark. This profile shows qualitative evidence for multiple daylight exposure and burial events; these are quantified using the model developed here. By determining the burial ages from the surface layer of the cobble and by fitting the new model to the luminescence profile, it is concluded that the cobble was well bleached before burial. This indicates that the OSL burial age is likely to be reliable. In addition, a recent known exposure event provides an approximate calibration for older daylight exposure events.

This study confirms the suggestion that rock surfaces contain a record of exposure and burial history, and that these events can be quantified. The burial age of rock surfaces can thus be dated with confidence, based on a knowledge of their pre-burial light exposure; it may also be possible to determine the length of a fossil exposure, using a known natural light exposure as calibration
TidsskriftRadiation Measurements
Sider (fra-til)16–22
StatusUdgivet - 2015

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