Optical dating of sediments

Some of the traps are considered ‘unstable’ (“shallow traps”), which means that an electron inside will not remain trapped for the whole duration of burial.On the contrary, defects situated deeper inside the lattice have a higher thermal lifetime.

The rate of release depends on four main parameters: i) the kind of mineral: the eviction occurs faster for quartz than for feldspars (reduction of the luminescence signal by a factor of 100 in ~ 20 s for the former, but a few minutes for the latter; Godfrey-Smith , these are more efficient to stimulate and release the electrons.Much later the grain is sampled in the field and stimulated in the laboratory using either visible light for quartz (OSL As shown in fig.2, the luminescence signal obtained by stimulation corresponds with a decay curve which shows the progressive emptying of the electrons from the traps.Après une présentation des principes physiques généraux, les procédures mises en œuvre aussi bien sur le terrain qu’en laboratoire sont abordées, à partir de l’exemple des analyses réalisées sur des alluvions sableuses issues d’une basse terrasse de la Moselle.La place des datations OSL dans la recherche géomorphologique en France et son potentiel pour les recherches futures sont décrits à travers une présentation de la diversité des environnements sédimentaires et des problématiques pouvant être traités.

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This phenomenon is associated with a resetting (“zeroing”) of the dosimetric clock; iii) after one or several transport phases the grain is “definitively” buried under a sedimentary cover.

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