Rocky Mountain Section - 69th Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 20-8
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM


MAHAN, Shannon A., U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS 974, Denver, CO 80225,

Many researchers using the Quaternary optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating method, or considering it, are not aware of the heritage of modern OSL dating -that stretches over half a century- or of the numerous techniques based on OSL that are now being commonly used in laboratories worldwide. What should Quaternary scientists know about the OSL dating method before determining whether the site they have found would be suitable for the technique? What would be important to have at the site and what could be unimportant or missing and still guarantee an effective outcome? How close is the luminescence community to “real-time” dating in the field?

Using two case histories of sites within a reactivated gulley of the Valles Caldera of New Mexico (2013-2014) and a paleontological site at Hot Springs, South Dakota (2016), the appropriate steps and procedures will be explained and a template will be given for the successful dating program. Luminescence guides from Nelson et al 2015 and Gray et al 2015 will highlight sampling protocols while a review of the latest advances will be placed in a historical context that will allow both seasoned professionals and students to evaluate the bevy of luminescence techniques, equipment, and their utility for future projects. As the GSA community moves into the Anthropocene, OSL dating continues to be a versatile and useful tool.