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Up-grade of luminescence dating facilities

English title Up-grade of luminescence dating facilities
Applicant Preusser Frank
Number 117374
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Institut für Geologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.12.2007 - 30.11.2008
Approved amount 87'360.00
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Keywords (6)

Luminescence dating; sediments; palaeoclimate; neotecontics; landscape evolution; palaeoecology

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Luminescence dating is an innovative method for determining the age of archaeological artefacts and geological deposits in the context of climate change and geohazard research. The luminescence laboratory at the Institute for Geological Sciences at Universität Bern is the only such facility within Switzerland and is participating in several national and international research projects. We are here requesting for financial support to up-grade the existing equipment. This up-grade comprises of two individual devices, which together represent a package that will help the laboratory to meet international standards:

-a TL/OSL reader equipped with a single grain attachment
-a high resolution gamma spectrometer

The TL/OSL reader with the attachment is necessary since recent developments in luminescence dating have concentrated on single grain techniques. This approach represents a good potential to increase the reliability of the method, especially when dating sediments that were only briefly exposed to daylight during sediment transport, such as pro-glacial deposits. As such sediments are present in many parts of Switzerland, the availability of this particular device at Bern is necessary to match international standards. Due to the often poor luminescence properties of quartz from the region, we require access to a dual laser device to also have the possibility to utilise feldspar single grain dating.
At present, there is no equipment at the Bern laboratory that allows the determination of dose rate relevant elements within the dated sediments, especially with regard to radioactive disequilibria, which is a fundamental part of the dating process. Samples are presently being sent to a commercial laboratory abroad. The availability of a high-resolution gamma spectrometer at Bern would not only pay off financially within a few years time but also gives us much more independence and flexibility, as we recently have to wait several months for such data.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
131887 Climate and environmental changes recorded in Late Quaternary lake deposits in the Arabian Desert 01.12.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
107820 Global environmental change: The challenge of establishing chronologies for Middle and Late Pleistocene glaciations in both hemispheres 01.11.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)