Guide for interpreting and reporting luminescence dating results

Shannon A. Mahan, Tammy M. Rittenour, Michelle S. Nelson, Nina Ataee, Nathan Brown, Regina DeWitt, Julie Durcan, Mary Evans, James Feathers, Marine Frouin, Guillaume Guérin, Maryam Heydari, Sebastien Huot, Mayank Jain, Amanda Keen-Zebert, Bo Li, Gloria I. López, Christina Neudorf, Naomi Porat, Kathleen RodriguesAndre Oliveira Sawakuchi, Joel Q.G. Spencer, Kristina Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development and application of luminescence dating and dosimetry techniques have grown exponentially in the last several decades. Luminescence methods provide age control for a broad range of geological and archaeological contexts and can characterize mineral and glass properties linked to geologic origin, Earth-surface processes, and past exposure to light, heat, and ionizing radiation. The applicable age range for luminescence methods spans the last 500,000 years or more, which covers the period of modern human evolution, and provides context for rates and magnitudes of geological processes, hazards, and climate change. Given the growth in applications and publications of luminescence data, there is a need for unified, community-driven guidance regarding the publication and interpretation of luminescence results. This paper presents a guide to the essential information necessary for publishing and archiving luminescence ages as well as supporting data that is transportable and expandable for different research objectives and publication outlets. We outline the information needed for the interpretation of luminescence data sets, including data associated with equivalent dose, dose rate, age models, and stratigraphic context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1480-1502
Number of pages23
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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