ESR dosimetry of optically bleached quartz grains extracted from Plio-Quaternary sediment: Evaluating some key aspects of the ESR signals associated to the Ti-centers
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The present study aims at investigating several key aspects of ESR dose reconstruction of quartz grains based on the analysis of the Ti-center: (i) the evaluation of the ESR intensity, (ii) its impact on measurements precision, and (iii) the potential of various fitting functions to describe the behavior of the signal with the radiation absorbed dose. In contrast with the Al center, the various Ti centers have quite low ESR signal intensities. It is thus crucial to adapt the experimental conditions for the optimization of the signal-to-noise ratio and to perform repeated measurements in order to take into consideration the uncertainty associated to angular dependence of the signal as well as day-to-day variations. Several options (named A to E) for evaluating the ESR intensity of the Ti–Li and Ti–H centers are explored and some of them yield too much experimental uncertainty (e.g. options C and E) and are apparently not suitable for accurate ESR dosimetry. In contrast, options A and D usually provide similar equivalent dose (DE) results and can be used together for assessing the dose absorbed by the Ti–Li center. Our results show a systematic non-monotonic behavior of the ESR signal of the Ti center with the dose, which raise some questions about the suitability of the single saturating exponential (SSE) function that is classically used in ESR dating. Consequently, we explored the potential of other functions that can describe the “radiation bleaching” phenomenon observed at high doses. We recommend the use of a specific fitting function (called Ti-2 in the present paper) previously proposed by Woda and Wagner (2007) for any dose reconstruction, and define some criteria to ensure a good fitting. The SSE function provides DE results that are, in most cases, relatively consistent with those derived from the Ti-2, suggesting that the Ti centers apparently follow a SSE behavior up to, at least, 6.0–6.5 kGy However, the reliability of the DE values obtained with the SSE seems quite dependent on the accuracy of the ESR intensities of the increasing domain of the dose response curve. We also recommend the definition of criteria to check the reliability of the DE results.
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