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Abgeschlossene Projekte

CRC 806: Our Way to Europe – Culture-Environment Interaction and Human Mobility in the Late Quaternary

Section F2: Application of Luminescence and Electron-Spin-Resonance Dating in Geoarchaeological Studies

Principal investigator(s):Dr. Alexandra Hilgers, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Christoph Schmidt, Dr. Nicole Klasen

Funded by: DFG

The spread of modern man from East Africa to Europe is object of investigation of CRC 806. Focus is set on phases of dispersion as well as on those of retreat and the influence of environmental factors. Providing a solid time frame for such processes is most important. Burnt flint stone artifacts play a decisive role in allocating information about human evolution and – inherently – about their time of use. Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is able to release this age information, but unfortunately there are barriers for improving precision und correctness which have not been overcome so far. One important challenge is the assessment of the spatial distribution of the internal dose rate in order to develop a method for spatially resolved TL dating of burnt flint slices. In addition with the single aliquot red TL protocol suggested by Richter & Krbetschek (2006) we aim to design a new approach for accurate dating of burnt flints. Reference is needed for this data, so dating of the surrounding sediment by Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) is inevitable. The timeframe investigated comprises up to 190 ka, which provides the chance to test and improve the quite new method of Infrared-Radiofluorescence (IR-RF) concerning the stages beyond the dating range of OSL. Another difficulty which often appears is an inhomogeneous equivalent dose distribution. Single Grain IR-RF dating procedures may provide new insights and better access to reliable age information.

 Publications: 

  • Schmidt, C., Kreutzer, S., Fattahi, M., Bailey, R., Zander, A. & Zöller, L. (2011): On the luminescence signal of empty sample carriers. Ancient TL 29(2), 65-74. 

Oral Presentations:

  • Schmidt, C., Krbetschek, M., Preusser, F. & Hilgers, A. (2011): Radionuclide Distribution in Silex. 13th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating (LED), Torun, 10-14th July 2011.
  • Schmidt, C. (2010): Applying a RTL SAR procedure on heated flint. Deutsches Treffen zur Lumineszenz- und ESR-Datierung, Innsbruck, 05-07th November 2010.

Posters:

  • Schmidt, C., Rufer, D., Pettke, T., Preusser, F., Krbetschek, M., Dornich, K., Mittelstrass, D. & Hilgers, A. (2010): Determining dose rate distribution patterns in siliceous rocks using LA-ICP-MS and spatially resolved luminescence measurements. UK TL/OSL/ESR Meeting, Oxford, 08-10th September 2010.
  • Schmidt, C., Rufer, D., Pettke, T., Preusser, F. & Hilgers, A. (2010): Determining dose rate distribution patterns in silica using autoradiography and LA-ICP-MS. 10th International Conference "Methods of Absolute Chronology", Gliwice, 22-25th April 2010.

 


Reconstruction of late Pleistocene, Holocene and ongoing geomorphodynamics in dischargeless basins of the Gobi desert (southern Mongolia) by optically stimulated luminescence

Principal investigator(s): Dr. Alexandra Hilgers, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Daniela Hülle

Project collaborators: Prof. Dr. Frank Lehmkuhl (Aachen), Prof. Dr. Jörg Grunert (Mainz)

Funded by: DFG (RA 383/16-1)

Mongolia belongs to one of the driest regions in the world due to its pronounced continentality. Thus, its sparse water resources and fragile ecosystems go along with a high vulnerability to climatic changes. The reconstruction of the environment’s reaction to past climate fluctuations is important to improve the background for any discussion and predictions of the impact of future climate changes on the environment. But compared with east and south Asia, the knowledge about the Late Quaternary landscape evolution in “central arid Asia” is still sparse and inconsistent. This study presents a thorough reconstruction and interpretation of past patterns of environmental change in Southern Mongolia based on a considerable data set of more than 100 samples from various archives such as dune deposits, terrace sequences, fluvial and lacustrine sediments within a 700 km long transect. Optically stimulated luminescence dating is applied to derive a spatially extensive chronological record of the geomorphodynamic activity. Application of OSL dating in Mongolia is complicated by the sediment characteristics. However, linkage of landscape changes to certain climatic fluctuations requires high-resolution palaeoclimate records, but the data sets at present corroborate, for example, increasing aridity during the last two millenia.

Publications: 

Oral presentations:

  • Hülle, D. (2011): Vom Alter zum Prozess: Lumineszenzdatierung von Sedimenten zur Rekonstruktion der jungquartären Landschaftsentwicklung der Mongolei. German Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating – Köln.
  • Hülle, D. (2011): The timing of Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental changes in Mongolia – new insights from luminescence dating. XVIII INQUA-Congress – Bern, Switzerland.
  • Hülle, D. (2010): Probleme und Lösungsansätze der Datierung zentralasiatischer Sedimente. German Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating – Innsbruck, Austria.
  • Stolz, C. & Hülle, D. (2010): Die Rekonstruktion fluvialer und äolischer Prozessdynamik am Dünenfeld Mongol Els (West-Mongolei) während des Holozäns und Spätpleistozäns. Conference of the German Working Committee for Geomorphology - Schmitten.
  • Hülle, D. (2010): Reconstruction of landscape and climate processes in the Gobi desert by Optically Stimulated Luminescence. Meeting of stipend holders of the Christiane-Nüsslein-Volhard-Stiftung - Tübingen.
  • Hilgers, A., Hülle, D. (2008): Reconstruction of geomorphodynamics in the Gobi desert by Optically Stimulated Luminescence. „Sino-German-Workshop“ – Nanjing

Poster:

  • Hülle, D., Stolz, C., Felauer, T., Hempelmann, N., Hilgers, A., Grunert, J., Lehmkuhl, F., Radtke, U. (2008): Reconstruction of aeolian and fluvial interaction in the Gobi Desert, Southern Mongolia. International Conference and annual meeting of DGG and GV (Geo 2008 - Resources and Risks in the Earth System) - Aachen.
  • Hülle, D., Hilgers, A., Radtke, U., Stolz, C., Hempelmann, N., Grunert, J., Felauer, T., Lehmkuhl, F. (2008): OSL dating of sediments from the Gobi desert, Southern Mongolia. 12th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating (LED 2008) - Beijing, China.
  • Hülle, D., Hilgers, A., Radtke, U. (2008) Reconstruction of Late Pleistocene, Holocene and ongoing geomorphodynamics in the Gobi Desert (southern ). ESF EuroClimate Spring School - Piran,Slovenia.
  • Felauer, T., Hempelmann, N., Hülle, D., Grunert, J., Lehmkuhl, F., Radtke, U. (2008): Late Pleistocene, Holocene and ongoing geomorphodynamics in the Gobi Desert (southern Mongolia). Annual Meeting Arbeitskreis Wüstenränder, Rauischholzhausen

 


The potential of optically stimulated luminescence for dating periglacial slope deposits - A case study from the Taunus area, Germany

Principal investigator(s): Dr. Alexandra Hilgers, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Daniela Hülle

Project collaborators: Prof. Dr. em. Arno Semmel (Hofheim), Dr. Peter Kühn (Tübingen)

Funded by: University of Cologne

Cover-beds formed by periglacial solifluction widely cover the bedrock in the central German low mountain range. These deposits are an inhomogeneous mixture of different grain sizes from clay to cobble, with both, the upper and the intermediate layer, characterised by intermixed loess of varying amounts. The chronostratigraphy of these periglacial slope deposits is still a matter of ongoing controversial discussions. Therefore, several samples from each layer at three sections in the Taunus area were investigated with various luminescence dating techniques including a variety of approaches for equivalent dose and dose rate determination.

The results indicate that, other than expected from the mode of transport, poor bleaching is not the major problem. In fact, the accurate determination of the annual, environmental dose in these heterogeneous sediments proofed to be extremely difficult. 

Publication:

Oral presentations:

  • Hülle, D. (2008): The potential of optically stimulated luminescence for dating periglacial slope deposits - A case study from the Taunus area. ESF EuroClimate Spring School - Piran,Slovenia.
  • Hülle, D. (2004): "Grenzen und Möglichkeiten der Lumineszenzdatierung periglaziärer Lagen in deutschen Mittelgebirgen - aufgezeigt an Fallstudien aus dem Taunus". 10th German Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating, Trebgast.

Poster:

  • Hülle, D., Hilgers, A., Kühn, P., Semmel, A., Radtke, U. (2005): Potential and limitations of optical dating techniques for the age determination of periglacial slope deposits - a case study in the Taunus area. 11th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating (LED 2005), Cologne.

 


Dunes as archives for Quaternary climatic and environmental history in south eastern Australia

Principal investigator(s): Dr. Alexandra Hilgers, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Johanna Lomax

Project collaborators: Dr. Rowl Twidale, Dr. Jennie Bourne, Prof. Dr. Heli Wopfner, Dr. Olaf Bubenzer

Funded by: DFG (RA 383/14-1)

During the last 300 000 years, south eastern Australia was characterised by oscillating climate phases. In dry phases - generally associated with glacial times - vegetation was sparse in arid and semi-arid regions, resulting in increased aeolian morphodynamics. In more humid periods, dunes were stabilised by vegetation and soil formation took place. Active dunes in arid central Australia containing palaeosols, and modern stabilised dunes in southern Australia provide evidence for these climatic changes and therefore serve as valuable terrestrial archives for palaeoclimatic reconstruction. The major aim of this project is to date dune sands and substrates underlying the dunes by the application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), in order to establish a chronology of climatically driven aeolian sedimentation phases. Three study areas were picked for this purpose: the Strzelecki Desert in arid central Australia (Lake Eyre Basin), the Murray Basin and the Eyre Peninsula (both in semi-arid southern Australia). The combination of the results from the three study areas will contribute to the reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental history of south eastern Australia of the last 300 000 years.

Publications:

Oral presentations:

  • Hilgers, A., Lomax, J., Twidale, C.R. (2009): Persistence of Paleodunes on Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, South Australia, back to 300ka. 7th International Conference on Geomorphology, Melbourne.
  • Lomax, J. (2009): Paleodunes as archives of environmental change in southeastern Australia. Arbeitskreis Wüstenrandforschung, Rauischholzhausen.
  • Lomax, J. (2009): Luminescence dating of "old" dune sands from southeastern Australia using OSL and TT-OSL.Deutsches Treffen zur Lumineszenz- und Elektronenspinresonanzdatierung, Hannover.
  • Lomax, J., Hilgers, A., Twidale, C.R., Bourne, J.A., Radtke, U. (2009): The timing of dune formation in the western Murray Basin, South Australia. 7th International Conference on Geomorphology, Melbourne.

ESR dating of aeolian sediments from Pleistocene desert environments

Principal investigator(s): Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Sarah Rittner

Project collaborators: Dr. Koen Beerten

Funded by: DFG (RA 383/15-1)

Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy will be used to estimate depositional ages of aeolian sequences from Pleistocene desert environments. Recent investigations have shown that Ti related impurity defects in quartz have a great potential for establishing chronologies of aeolian deposits using ESR (Beerten and Stesmans, 2005). The most important prospect of ESR dating lies in the expected extension of the dating range beyond the upper limit of other widely used dating methods for Aeolian deposits such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) or thermoluminescence (TL) dating. In the past, several attempts have been made to date such deposits with ESR, but a systematic study is lacking so far. Several sequences from aeolian environments in Australia, Egypt, Sudan and South Africa, spanning the Late and Middle Pleistocene, will be investigated using X-band ESR spectroscopy of multiple grain samples. It is expected that the output of this study will be an important step in extending the dating range of ESR beyond that of other techniques (i.e. OSL) used for dating Aeolian deposits. 

Publication:

  • Beerten, K., Rittner, S. & Radtke, U. (2008) : Dose recovery tests using Ti-related ESR signals in quartz: first results. Quaternary Geochronology, 3: 143-149.

 


Das Alter der Eiszeiten im bayerischen Alpenvorland

Principal investigator(s): Prof. Dr. U. Radtke

Project assistant: Nicole Klasen

Project collaborator: Prof. Dr. Frank Preusser

Funded by: DFG  (RA 383/13-1/2)

The northern Alpine Foreland is a classical area of Pleistocene research. Penck & Brückner (1901/1909) introduced a stratigraphic concept for this region, which has later been adopted worldwide as a basic principle of terrestrial Pleistocene stratigraphy. The three most recent glaciations in this system are known as Mindel, Riss and Würm. The age of the glacial deposits has previously been correlated with Marine Isotope Stages (MIS), but improved dating methods allow the estimation of sediment ages directly. The aim of the study was to develop an independent chronology for Quaternary sediments using luminescence dating. 

Publications: 

Oral Presentations: 

  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Vergleich von Quarz OSL und Feldspat IRSL Altern an Proben aus dem Alpenvorland. 1. Central European Meeting on Luminescence and ESR dating Bern, November 2006.
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Optisch Stimulierte Lumineszenz an proglazialen Sedimenten aus dem Risstal, nördliches Alpenvorland. Arbeitskreis Geomorphologie Dresden, Oktober 2006.
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Optical dating of proglacial sediments from the river Riss valley, northern Alpine Foreland. INQUA Subkommission: Subcommission on European Quarternary Stratigraphy (SEQS) Mailand, September 2006.
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Lumineszenzdatierung fluvioglazialer Sedimente im Risstal. DEUQUA Subcommission: Arbeitgemeinschaft Alpenvorland Quartär (AGAQ), April 2006.
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Reitner, J., Radtke, U.: Luminescence dating of proglacial sediments from the Eastern Alps. INQUA Subkommission: Subcommission on European Quarternary Stratigraphy (SEQS) Bern, September 2005
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Lumineszenzdatierung von Sedimenten im bayerischen Alpenvorland. DEUQUA Subkommission: Arbeitgemeinschaft Alpenvorland Quartär (AGAQ), Mai 2005 

Poster Presentations: 

  • Klasen, N. Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Discrepancies between quartz and feldspar optical ages. EGU General Assembly Wien, April 2006.
  • Klasen, N. Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Luminescence properties of glaciofluvial sediments from the Bavarian Alpine Foreland. International Luminescence and ESR Meeting Köln, Juli 2005.
  • Klasen, N., Fiebig, M., Preusser, F., Radtke, U.: Dating the classical glaciations of the Alps by luminescence dating. UK Luminescence and ESR Meeting St. Andrews, September 2004.

 


Late Glacial and Holocene dune development in the northern European lowland reconstructed by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating

Principal investigator(s): Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke

Research assistant: Alexandra Hilgers

Funded by: DFG (Ra 383/7-1/-2); University of Cologne

Extensive areas in the northern European lowlands are covered by cold-climate aeolian sand sheets and inland dunes. The objective of this long-term project is the reconstruction of the chronology of dune formation and reactivation by means of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of dunes developed throughout the last ~20,000 years. Dune formation and reactivation is linked to specific climatic and environmental conditions. By dating dune deposits this study investigates the relation of phases of enhanced aeolian activity and sand deposition to climate and/or human triggered changes of the landscape. Already more than 30 inland or river dune sites have been investigated up to now in order to create a data base that allows the interpretation of aeolian records and its implications for a reconstruction of the climate, landscape and land use history on a regional scale.

Publications: