Publication Details

May, J., Preusser, F. & Gliganic, L. Andrew. (2015). Refining late Quaternary plunge pool chronologies in Australia's monsoonal 'Top End'. Quaternary Geochronology, 30 (Part B), 328-333.


Plunge pool deposits from Australia's 'Top End' are considered as important archives of past monsoonal activity in the region. The available chronology of these deposits was so far based on thermoluminescence (TL) dating and indicated maximum flood magnitudes during the Last Glacial Maximum in contrast with more arid conditions as deduced from other archives of the region. This study revisits plunge pool deposits at Wangi Falls by applying multiple and single-grain Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz and high-resolution gamma spectrometry, supported by radiocarbon dating of organic material. The aim is to reappraise the existing chronology and investigate if the deposits are affected by partial bleaching, post-depositional mixing and/or problems related to annual dose determination. The latter seems to have a minor impact on the ages at most. Equivalent Dose (De) distributions are broad, in particular for single grains, but apparently not result from partial bleaching or post-depositional mixing. Rather, microdosimetry caused by radiation hotspots in the sediment and zircon inclusions in the quartz grains is considered problematic for these sediments. The results presented here imply that the previous TL chronology overestimated the real deposition age of the sediments.

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