In October 2014, Stephanie Merkel and Nicole Klasen of the F2 project used a portable luminescence reader (SUERC POSL of the Scottish Universities and Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride) in the loess profile of Romont, Belgium (in collaboration with Jörg Zens, D1 project). Our idea was to gather first information about the sediment stratigraphy and to find the most appropriate locations for sampling.
The application of the SUERC POSL in loess is especially interesting because usually loess has favourable luminescence characteristics, i.e., homogeneous grain size distribution and high radionuclide concentration which generates high luminescence intensity. In homogeneous sediment, the increase of the luminescence intensity with depth most likely is related to a relative increase of the depositional age. Significant changes in the signal intensity and the IRSL/OSL-ratio indicate different mineralogical composition of the sediment which may hint to different sediment sources. We regarded the SUERC POSL a useful tool to understand geomorphological processes in the field.
View from the Romont loess profile.
Photo: Stephanie Merkel