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Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center

USGS Luminescence Dating Laboratory

For Prospective Users


Thank you for your interest in using the U.S. Geological Survey TL/OSL lab for sediment dating. In this information "booklet" there are several sections that you will find useful. Section I covers general TL and OSL methodology and assumptions, Section II covers dose rate (DR) calculations and how the elements are measured quantitatively, while Section III guides the reader through lab preparation of a sample and subsequent measurement of equivalent dose (DE). Further description of field methods are available in Nelson and others (2015) and Gray and others (2015).

Photo of laboratory equipment.Section IV reviews sampling in the field for TL and OSL and other material that may be dated using luminescence. Section V introduces quick and general facts about the technique range, explanations for differences in TL and OSL techniques, reasons why different luminescent techniques are applied to different depositional sample types and other labs to contact in the U.S. Some labs, other than the USGS lab, may be more helpful for archeological applications, may respond with a cheaper price or offer faster response time depending on the need for a particular analysis.

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