Guide to Luminescence Dating Techniques and Their Application to Paleoseismic Research

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings volume: Basin and range province seismic hazards summit III, 2015


Utah Geological Survey

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Over the past 25 years, luminescence dating has become a key tool for dating sediments of interest in paleoseismic research. The data obtained from luminescence dating has been used to determine timing of fault displacement, calculate slip rates, and estimate earthquake recurrence intervals. The flexibility of luminescence is a key complement to other chronometers such as radiocarbon or cosmogenic nuclides. Careful sampling and correct selection of sample sites exert two of the strongest controls on obtaining an accurate luminescence age. Factors such as partial bleaching and post-depositional mixing should be avoided during sampling and special measures may be needed to help correct for associated problems. Like all geochronologic techniques, context is necessary for interpreting and calculating luminescence results and this can be achieved by supplying participating labs with associated trench logs, photos, and stratigraphic locations of sample sites.

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