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Testing the potential of luminescence dating of high-alpine lake sediments.
Institut für Geologie, Universität Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1þ3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
Institut für Geologie, Universität Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1þ3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.
Eawag, Departement of Surface Waters, Überlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Institute of Plant Sciences & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Universität Bern, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern, Switzerland.
2012 (English)In: Quaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, Vol. 8, 23-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The potential of luminescence dating of high-alpine lacustrine sediments is tested on samples taken fromthree high-altitude moraine-bounded lakes in the Swiss Alps. Independent age control is provided byradiocarbon ages and detailed palynological data in all cases. All samples show good luminescencecharacteristics (no thermal transfer, good dose recovery and recycling), but two samples show rather lowquartz signals. Radioactive disequilibria in the uranium decay chain observed in one sample areaccounted for by using a dynamic modelling approach. Because all cores had largely dried out and watercontent had not been measured after sampling, we developed a modern limnological approach toretrospectively establish palaeo-water content. Applying average water content values from a dataset ofmodern sediments with similar characteristics to the samples investigated here we obtained ages thatmatch the independent age control. Whereas the low-signal quartz separates consistently underestimatethese ages, the polymineral samples more accurately match them, do not suffer from anomalous fadingand are thus considered reliable. This study demonstrates for the first time that applying luminescencedating to high-alpine, ice-proximal lacustrine sediments is a promising avenue to obtain a chronology forsuch depositional environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2012. Vol. 8, 23-32 p.
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Quarternary Geology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85255OAI: diva2:583157
Available from: 2013-01-17 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2013-01-17Bibliographically approved

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