Natural variations in the properties of TL and IRSL emissions from metamorphic and volcanic K-feldspars from East Africa: assessing their reliability for dating
The elevated temperature infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) and post-IR IRSL signals of potassium (K)-feldspars have recently garnered attention for their minimal rates of anomalous fading. The post-IR IRSL signal has been used to obtain age estimates for geological deposits, mostly in Europe. Studies on the behaviour of the IRSL and post-IR IRSL signals of K-feldspars from a wider range of geographic regions and depositional contexts are needed, particularly for regions where the OSL signal from quartz is poorly behaved. Discrepancies in the literature regarding the behaviours of the IRSL and TL signals of K-feldspars also highlight the need to characterise the behaviours of samples from a wide variety of contexts. This paper begins to address this problem by characterising and comparing the IRSL signals of a metamorphic and a volcanic K-feldspar sample from two sites in East Africa, a region in which the OSL signal from quartz has generally proven problematic for dating. We demonstrate that the metamorphic and volcanic K-feldspars have substantially different TL glow curves that respond differently to IR stimulation. The sample of metamorphic K-feldspar from Tanzania (MR9) has a peak at 430 °C that is associated with the IRSL signal and an optically less-sensitive peak at 350 °C, while the sample of volcanic K-feldspar from Ethiopia (MB3) exhibits a single broad TL region centred at ∼230 °C that responds differently to IR stimulation. Differences in the change of IRSL decay curve shape with stimulation temperature suggest that the processes of IRSL production many vary between the two samples. Using dose recovery tests, we demonstrate that the IRSL (50 °C), IRSL (225 °C) and post-IR IRSL (50 °C, 225 °C) signals of sample MR9 are suitable for dose and age estimation using the single-aliquot regenerative-dose procedure, while those of sample MB3 are less suitable. The post-IR IRSL signal of the latter sample performs poorly in tests of SAR suitability and the three signals exhibit extremely high fading rates over laboratory timescales (g2days > 19%/decade).