Luminescence dating is now widely applied by scientists working in Quaternary geology and archaeology to obtain ages for events as diverse as past earthquakes, desertification and cave occupation sites. Using quartz or feldspar minerals found in almost ubiquitous sand and finer sediments, luminescence can provide ages from over 500,000 years ago to modern.
Written by some of the foremost experts in luminescence dating from around the world, this book takes a new approach. It explains what luminescence can and can't do, what and where to sample, types of measurements available and how to interpret and analyse ages once they are measured. It is accordingly for scientists who require luminescence ages for their research rather than those scientists developing the luminescence technique or making their own luminescence measurements. The background to the technique is explained in simple terms so that the range of potential applications, limits and issues can be understood. The book helps scientists plan where and what to sample to optimise the successful application of luminescence and stemming from that the chronologies that can be constructed. The Handbook sets out the challenges and limitations when applying luminescence dating in different environmental and archaeological settings and gives practical advice on how issues might be avoided in sampling, or mitigated by requesting different laboratory measurement approaches or analysis.
Guidance is provided on how luminescence ages can be interpreted and published as well as how they can be used within chronological frameworks. With luminescence dating continuing to develop, information on more experimental approaches is given which may help expand the range of chronological challenges to which luminescence dating can be routinely applied.