Cross-comparison of last glacial radiocarbon and OSL ages using periglacial fan deposits

Sanne W.L. Palstra*, Jakob Wallinga, Willem Viveen, Jeroen M. Schoorl, Meindert van den Berg, Johannes van der Plicht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Two cores from a Weichselian periglacial alluvial fan were dated using 14C and OSL, to verify the reliability of both methods and check the upper dating limit of the 14C method. Both dating methods yielded a similar chronology for core Eerbeek-I, with infinite 14C dates for the lower part where OSL dates indicated ages of over 45 ka. Finite 14C dates were obtained throughout the core for Eerbeek-II, despite stratigraphic and OSL evidence suggesting ages beyond 14C limits. Apparently, additional chemical pre-treatment to remove younger carbon fractions did not work adequately for samples from this core. We hypothesize that this may be related to a larger influence of younger-age humin fractions in the mainly sandy Eerbeek-II deposits compared to those buffered by a thick peat layer of Eerbeek-I. We suggest that (local) stratigraphy, percolation and humification processes may impact 14C ages of organic deposits more than commonly assumed, and should receive more attention. In addition, we introduce a new method to assess robustness and validity of OSL dates and demonstrate the applicability of OSL dating methods in this setting. Our results highlight that the 14C method requires additional verification methods, such as OSL, for deposits older than 30 ka.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101128
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • AMS
  • Fan deposits
  • OSL
  • Radiocarbon
  • Weichselian


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