Our team focusing on luminescence geochronology is headed by Michael Meyer
and includes Loic Martin
(Post Doc) and Sarah Schaffer
and Elena Tomasi
(PhD students) as well as Patricia Urban
(Master student) and Wolfgang Mutschlechner
(lab technician). OSL laboratory (link
) & more on youtube (link english
) (link german
In solving geological and archaeological questions we apply Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating
to a wide range of depositional environments including lake, river, aeolian, glacial and peri-glacial environments as well as cave-mouth sediments and other more exotic deposits.
OSL dating allows the age of sedimentary deposits to be accurately constrained and has revolutionized studies of events that occurred in the past ca. 300 000 years of Earth´s and humanity´s history. OSL dating is based on the principle that mineral grains, such as quartz and feldspar, absorb energy that originates from naturally occurring ionizing radiation in the sedimentary environment. The radiative energy is stored in the crystal lattices of these minerals in the form of trapped electrons and the number of trapped electrons increases over time. Optical read out of these electrons under controlled laboratory conditions thus provides a tool to constrain the depositional age of sediment.
More recently OSL has also been used as a chronometer for dating geological and archaeological rock surfaces. This approach exploits the fact that the latent OSL signal in the topmost centimeters of rock surfaces is gradually reduced while exposed to sun light. We pioneer OSL rock surface dating
and apply it to alpine rock slope failures and archaeological surface artefacts and petroforms.
Scroll down for our OSL projects funded by the FWF and ERC.
Ongoing and previous OSL dating collaborations include: