Luminescence property of volcanic quartz and the use of red isothermal TL for dating tephras

S. Tsukamoto, A. S. Murray, S. Huot, T. Watanuki, P. M. Denby, L. Bøtter-Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) age obtained from a Japanese tephra using quartz phenocrysts severely underestimated the known age. The characteristics of the OSL signals were investigated in order to understand the cause of the underestimation; the main OSL component of volcanic quartz has a thermodynamic lifetime of about 1700 years at room temperature, and it also seems to fade anomalously (i.e. athermally). Measurement of conventional red thermoluminescence (RTL) using a Ga-As photomultiplier tube was difficult due to the presence of a strong thermal background, although RTL gave an age consistent with the independent age. Furthermore, red isothermal TL (RITL) at 380 °C allowed the RTL signal to be separated from to the thermal background, and RITL ages of three volcanic quartz samples show good agreement with independent ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Measurements
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Fading
  • OSL
  • Red TL
  • Volcanic quartz

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation


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