ESR dating of sedimentary quartz grains: some basic guidelines to ensure optimal sampling conditions
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Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) applied to optically bleached quartz grains extracted from sediment provides an age estimate for the last exposure of sediment to sunlight. This method has been increasingly used in archaeological, geological and geomorphological contexts for the last 30 years. However, its successful application is highly dependent on the geological context and the type and quality of the material sampled. Therefore, appropriate sampling strategy and conditions are crucial to ensure reliable ESR ages. The aim of this paper is to provide basic background information on the best way to collect samples and select the most suitable materials for ESR dating. It is nevertheless highly recommended to contact an ESR geochronologist prior to fieldwork sampling.
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