Violet stimulated luminescence: Geo- or thermochronometer?

C. Ankjærgaard, B. Guralnik, N. Porat, A. Heimann, M. Jain, J. Wallinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The method of quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating is widely used, but generally limited to the past ∼0.1 million years (Ma) due to early saturation of the desired signal. Violet stimulated luminescence (VSL) of quartz has previously been shown as a promising alternative, with a dose saturation level ∼20 times higher compared to that of OSL, excellent thermal stability on the 1011 year time scale, and agreement between VSL and OSL ages up to ∼0.3 Ma. Here we explore the usability of the VSL signal to date older quartz samples from palaeosols, whose ages are bracketed by KeAr ages and palaeomagnetic data of the interbedded basalts, emplaced between 1.6 and 0.7 Ma. VSL ages from three palaeosols largely underestimate the independent ages of their overlying basalts. This can be explained either by a low-temperature thermal anomaly resetting the VSL signal in nature, and/or by an insufficient measurement protocol, unable to correctly translate the natural signal into the equivalent laboratory dose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Measurements
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Doron Mor for locating and re-sampling the original basalt units from Mor and Steinitz (1984) . Further thanks are due to Gala Faerstein and Iaad Suaad (Geological Survey of Israel) for assistance in fieldwork. Finally, Dr. Sumiko Tsukamoto is thanked for constructive review comments, and Dr. Sébastien Huot for additional comments and Editorial handling. BG was supported by Swiss National Foundation Grant 200021-127127 . This project has been financed by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW ( STW.10502 ) and Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO VENI (grant 863.13.023 ).

FundersFunder number
Swiss National Foundation200021-127127
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek863.13.023
Stichting voor de Technische WetenschappenSTW.10502


    • Golan plateau
    • Hydrothermal fluids
    • OSL-thermochronometry
    • Palaeosol
    • VSL dating
    • Violet stimulated luminescence


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