OSL works because all sediments have some natural radioactivity, caused by the presence of uranium, thorium and potassium isotopes in heavy minerals such as zircons. We analyse the quartz or feldspar minerals in sand deposits. A few key publications by NCL members: Cunningham, A. Realizing the potential of fluvial archives using robust OSL chronologies. If we assume that the radiation dose rate of the sediment has remained constant over time, then if we measure that dose rate, we can calculate the sample age. Hollie Wynne (Aberystwyth University) stirs OSL samples being treated with acid in the preparation lab of the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory. We make an approximation of the number of trapped electrons by measuring the light that they emit following stimulation by light (hence the name of the technique, “Optically stimulated luminescence”).
J., Van Heteren, S., Van der Valk, B., Van der Spek, A.
The photons are detected using a photomultiplier tube.
The signal from the tube is then used to calculate the dose that the material had absorbed.
From the conduction band they may recombine with holes trapped in hole traps.
If the centre with the hole is a luminescence center (radiative recombination centre) emission of light will occur. Timing of the last sequence boundary in a fluvial setting near the highstand shoreline - Insights from optical dating.