Luminescence properties of natural muscovite relevant to optical dating of contaminated quartz samples

O. Antohi-trandafir, A. Timar-gabor, A. Vulpoi, R. Bălc, J. Longman, D. Veres, S. Simon

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Abstract

Muscovite is a mineral commonly found along quartz in sediments, where the latter is the mineral of choice in numerous optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating studies. Since muscovite cannot be efficiently eliminated following standard laboratory treatments, it is important to assess its luminescence properties. This study is focused on the investigation of muscovite hand-picked from a quartz sample extracted from loess and of museum specimens of muscovite in order to evaluate their potential implication in the OSL dating of quartz samples contaminated with muscovite grains. The obtained results show that generally applicable luminescence characteristics cannot be described for muscovite. In terms of the thermoluminescence (TL) response, all samples investigated display the same wide peak at 200 °C. The blue light and infrared (IR) sensitivities differ between the samples: 3 out of 5 samples present no or negligible level of OSL and IRSL response, while the other 2 samples are characterised by both blue light (2000–3400 counts in 0.31 s of stimulation for 10 mg of muscovite after irradiation with a dose of 136 Gy) and IR sensitivity (265–320 counts in 0.31 s of stimulation for 10 mg of muscovite after irradiation with a dose of 136 Gy). Based on the samples analysed in this study, aliquots of quartz contaminated with optically (blue light) sensitive muscovite would also be IR sensitive. Hence, potentially problematic aliquots can be identified via the IRSL purity test usually used in the OSL dating of quartz samples for detection of feldspar contamination. The impact of muscovite on dose determination for quartz was also tested and it was concluded that at least in the case of bright quartz, muscovite minerals do not influence the OSL measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalRadiation Measurements
Volume109
Early online date16 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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