Optical dating of young coastal dunes on a decadal time scale

M. Ballarini*, J. Wallinga, A.S. Murray, S. Van Heteren, A.P. Oost, A.J.J. Bos, C.W.E. Van Eijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the use of quartz optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating for reconstructing coastal evolution on a time scale of decades to a few hundred years. Samples are taken from the accretionary south-west coast of Texel, a barrier island just offshore of the northern Netherlands. The ages of dune ridges are known from historical sources; an excellent chronology with a decadal accuracy exists for the past 260 years. OSL ages of less than 10 years on the youngest samples indicate that the OSL signal of the quartz grains is very well zeroed prior to deposition and burial. OSL ages of five samples from a 250-year-old dune ridge are indistinguishable, and the OSL ages on 17 out of 20 samples are in excellent agreement with the well-known independent age controls. Our results highlight the potential of OSL dating for high-resolution reconstruction of coastal evolution over the past few centuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1017
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number10-13
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


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