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Guide for interpreting and reporting luminescence dating results

November 3, 2022

The development and application of luminescence dating and dosimetry techniques have grown exponentially in the last several decades. Luminescence methods provide age control for a broad range of geological and archaeological contexts and can characterize mineral and glass properties linked to geologic origin, Earth-surface processes, and past exposure to light, heat, and ionizing radiation. The applicable age range for luminescence methods spans the last 500,000 years or more, which covers the period of modern human evolution, and provides context for rates and magnitudes of geological processes, hazards, and climate change. Given the growth in applications and publications of luminescence data, there is a need for unified, community-driven guidance regarding the publication and interpretation of luminescence results.

This paper presents a guide to the essential information necessary for publishing and archiving luminescence ages as well as supporting data that is transportable and expandable for different research objectives and publication outlets. We outline the information needed for the interpretation of luminescence data sets, including data associated with equivalent dose, dose rate, age models, and stratigraphic context. A brief review of the fundamentals of luminescence techniques and applications, including guidance on sample collection and insight into laboratory processing and analysis steps, is presented to provide context for publishing and data archiving.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Guide for interpreting and reporting luminescence dating results
DOI 10.1130/B36404.1
Authors Shannon A. Mahan, Tammy M. Rittenour, Michelle S. Nelson, Nina Ataee, Nathan D. Brown, Regina DeWitt, Julie Durcan, Mary Evans, James K. Feathers, Marine Frouin, Guillaume Guérin, Maryam Heydari, Sebastien Huot, Mayank Jain, Amanda Keen-Zebert, Bo Li, Gloria I. López, Christina Neudorf, Naomi Porat, Kathleen Rodrigues, Andre O. Sawakuchi, Joel Q. G Spencer, Kristina Thomsen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title GSA Bulletin
Index ID 70238008
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center