Project

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OSL-thermochronology: development and applications of a new thermochronometer of exceptionally low closure temperature

Applicant Herman Frédéric
Number 127127
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.02.2010 - 31.01.2013
Approved amount 185'014.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geology
Geochronology

Keywords (6)

OSL-dating; thermochronology; Glaciations; thermochronolgy; landscape evolution; luminescence dating

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Project SummaryLow-temperature thermochronology is the study and measurement of the time-temperature history of rocks during exhumation. Given that the thermal field of the uppermost crust is sensitive to details of the topography, low temperature systems can provide information on the history of mountain topographic development as well as timing of tectonic processes. As a consequence, systems of low closure temperature (e.g. apatite (U-Th)/He dating, which has a closure temperature of about 700C) have received widespread development and application. Recently, a new thermochronologic method, based on OSL-dating has been introduced. OSL-thermochronology appears to have a closure temperature of about 25-400C, opening a new window on the latest stage of exhumation of rocks towards the surface. Given its remarkably low closure temperature, this system has the potential to enable quantification of geologic-geomorphic processes at a timescale comparable to that of Quaternary climate cycles. Besides its particularly low closure temperature, OSL-thermochronology also has the advantage of the relative ease of making measurements and the ubiquity of the minerals used: quartz and feldspar. The technique already shows great promise, with an initial study in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and encouraging results from 3 new sample suites (New Zealand, European Alps and Himalayas). However, in order to make the method more rigorous and suitable for routine applications in a wide range of contexts, some of the fundamental principles of OSL need to be established more robustly.In this project we propose to (1) establish a better calibration of the kinetic parameters that define the closure temperature of OSL-thermochronology through a suite of well-defined laboratory experiments, (2) perform in-situ calibration on sites where temperature is well known and erosion is negligible (Australian mine) or demonstrably important (tunnel in the European Alps), (3) demonstrate the usefulness of the method, in particular by showing the information it can provide on the effects of Pleistocene glaciations (with a particular focus here on the European Alps).Research Plan1. Step 1: sample collection in a Non-Eroding terrain: CSA Mine, Australia.2. Step 2: sample collection in an Eroding Terrain: Lötschberg tunnel, Aar Massif, Switzerland.3. Step 3: OSL measurements (Pulse/Linear Modulation) - Pulse annealing and isothermal holding experiments. 4. Step 4: Thermal and landscape evolution models
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Luminescence characteristics of quartz from Hsuehshan Range (Central Taiwan) and implications for thermochronometry
Wu Tzu-Shuan, Jain Mayank, Guralnik Benny, Murray Andrew S., Chen Yue-Gau (2015), Luminescence characteristics of quartz from Hsuehshan Range (Central Taiwan) and implications for thermochronometry, in Radiation Measurements, 81, 104-109.
OSL-thermochronometry of feldspar from the KTB borehole, Germany
Guralnik Benny, Jain Mayank, Herman Fr{é}}d{é}}ric, Ankjærgaard Christina, Murray Andrew S., Valla Pierre G., Preusser Frank, King Georgina E., Chen Reuven, Lowick Sally E., Kook Myungho, Rhodes Edward J. (2015), OSL-thermochronometry of feldspar from the KTB borehole, Germany, in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 423, 232-243.
OSL-thermochronometry using bedrock quartz: A note of caution
Guralnik B., Ankjærgaard C., Jain M., Murray A.S., Müller A., Wälle M., Lowick S.E., Preusser F., Rhodes E.J., Wu T.-S., Mathew G., Herman F. (2015), OSL-thermochronometry using bedrock quartz: A note of caution, in Quaternary Geochronology, 25, 37-48.
Radiation-induced growth and isothermal decay of infrared-stimulated luminescence from feldspar
Guralnik Benny, Li Bo, Jain Mayank, Chen Reuven, Paris Richard B., Murray Andrew S., Li Sheng-Hua, Pagonis Vasilis, Valla Pierre G., Herman Fr{é}}d{é}}ric (2015), Radiation-induced growth and isothermal decay of infrared-stimulated luminescence from feldspar, in Radiation Measurements, 81, 224-231.
Stimulated luminescence emission from localized recombination in randomly distributed defects
Jain M., Guralnik B., Andersen M.T. (2012), Stimulated luminescence emission from localized recombination in randomly distributed defects, in Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 24(38), 12.
Stimulated luminescence emission from localised recombination in randomly distributed defects
Jain M. Guralnik B. Andersen M.T., Stimulated luminescence emission from localised recombination in randomly distributed defects, in Journal of Physics, Condensed Matter.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
RISOE LABORATORY Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
144389 Low-temperature optically stimulated luminescence thermochronometry: development and applications 01.02.2013 Project funding
120499 TOPOALPS - The Topographic History of the Alps and its Tectonic and Climatic Drivers (IP1) 01.09.2008 Project funding (special)
143165 Glacial Carving versus Tectonic Forcing. Documenting their Relative Contribution to Relief Formation 01.10.2012 Ambizione
144389 Low-temperature optically stimulated luminescence thermochronometry: development and applications 01.02.2013 Project funding

Abstract

Low-temperature thermochronology is the study and measurement of the time-temperature history of rocks during exhumation. Given that the thermal field of the uppermost crust is sensitive to details of the topography, low temperature systems can provide information on the history of mountain topographic development as well as timing of tectonic processes. As a consequence, systems of low closure temperature (e.g. apatite (U-Th)/He dating, which has a closure temperature of about 700C) have received widespread development and application. Recently, a new thermochronologic method, based on OSL-dating has been introduced. OSL-thermochronology appears to have a closure temperature of about 25-400C, opening a new window on the latest stage of exhumation of rocks towards the surface. Given its remarkably low closure temperature, this system has the potential to enable quantification of geologic-geomorphic processes at a timescale comparable to that of Quaternary climate cycles. Besides its particularly low closure temperature, OSL-thermochronology also has the advantage of the relative ease of making measurements and the ubiquity of the minerals used: quartz and feldspar. The technique already shows great promise, with an initial study in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and encouraging results from 3 new sample suites (New Zealand, European Alps and Himalayas). However, in order to make the method more rigorous and suitable for routine applications in a wide range of contexts, some of the fundamental principles of OSL need to be established more robustly.In this project we propose to (1) establish a better calibration of the kinetic parameters that define the closure temperature of OSL-thermochronology through a suite of well-defined laboratory experiments, (2) perform in-situ calibration on sites where temperature is well known and erosion is negligible (Australian mine) or demonstrably important (tunnel in the European Alps), (3) demonstrate the usefulness of the method, in particular by showing the information it can provide on the effects of Pleistocene glaciations (with a particular focus here on the European Alps).The major strength of the project lies on the novelty of the method we propose to calibrate and the ability to combine laboratory work with numerical modeling to interpret the data. The project is based on a strong collaboration between Edward Rhodes (Manchester Metropolitan University), who has extensive experience in OSL-dating and Quaternary geology, and Frédéric Herman (ETH Zurich), who has worked for several years in low-temperature thermochronology and numerical modeling. The project is designed for one PhD student who will collect samples, conduct laboratory experiments and interpret the data using thermal and landscape evolution models.
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