Luminescence age modeling of variably-bleached sediment: Model selection and input

Elizabeth L. Chamberlain*, Jakob Wallinga, Zhixiong Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of heterogeneously-bleached sediment by means of a minimum age model requires the input of a ‘sigma_b’ (σb) value describing the overdispersion of the single-aliquot De distribution expected for a well-bleached sample. We propose that σb and associated uncertainty can be accurately determined if a large dataset of De distributions is available and includes well-bleached samples. Our approach applies the bootstrapped Minimum Age Model (bootMAM) to a dataset of overdispersions in De distributions, to obtain quantitative estimates of σb. Corrections are made for constant-diameter aliquots of different grain sizes, based on the published dependency of overdispersion on the number of grains per aliquot. These adapted σb values are then input to bootMAM to obtain robust paleodoses for the samples. We test the sensitivity of paleodose to σb and we demonstrate that with correct σb, identical paleodoses are obtained using bootMAM and the Central Age Model on samples judged to be well-bleached. We conclude that for large datasets consisting of well- and heterogeneously-bleached samples, appropriate σb values can be obtained from the data, and that bootMAM can be applied to all samples within this dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
JournalRadiation Measurements
Early online date4 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018


  • Bleaching
  • Luminescence dating
  • Overdispersion
  • Quartz sand
  • Residual dose

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