On the interest of using the multiple center approach in ESR dating of optically bleached quartz grains: Some examples from the Early Pleistocene terraces of the Alcanadre River (Ebro basin, Spain)
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The present work reports the first numerical ages obtained for the two highest fluvial terraces (Qt1 and Qt2) of the Alcanadre River system (Northeastern Spain) representing the earliest remnants of Quaternary morphosedimentary fluvial activity in the Ebro basin. ESR dating method was applied to optically bleached quartz grains and both the Al and Ti centers were measured, in accordance with the Multiple Center approach. The results are overall in good agreement with the existing preliminary chronostratigraphic framework and our interpretation indicate that terraces Qt1 and Qt2 have an ESR age of 1276 ± 104 ka and 817 ± 68 ka, respectively. These data provide some chronological insights on the beginning of the fluvial sedimentary processes in a scenario of incision maintained over Quaternary in the Ebro Basin. These are among the first numerical ages obtained for such high terraces in the Iberian Peninsula. Our results demonstrate the interest of using the Multiple Center approach in ESR dating of quartz, since the two centers provide complementary information, i.e. an independent dose control. The overall apparent consistency between the ESR age estimates and the existing preliminary chronostratigraphic framework may be considered as an empirical evidence that the Ti–Li center may actually work for Early Pleistocene deposits, whereas the Ti–H center shows some clear limitations instead. Finally, these results demonstrate the interest of using ESR method to date Early Pleistocene fluvial terraces that are usually beyond the time range covered by the OSL dating method.