Thermoluminescence dating sediments
This energy is stored in the form of trapped electrons and quartz sand is the most commonly used mineral employed in the dating process.
Prior to the final depositional episode it is necessary that any previously acquired TL is removed by exposure to sunlight.
The exposure to radioactive elements continues, and the minerals begin again storing free electrons in their structures.
To put it simply, certain minerals (quartz, feldspar, and calcite), store energy from the sun at a known rate.Luminescence dating is good for between a few hundred to (at least) several hundred thousand years, making it much more useful than carbon dating.The term luminescence refers to the energy emitted as light from minerals such as quartz and feldspar after they've been exposed to an ionizing radiation of some sort.Thermoluminescence was first clearly described in a paper presented to the Royal Society (of Britain) in 1663, by Robert Boyle, who described the effect in a diamond which had been warmed to body temperature. The possibility of making use of TL stored in a mineral or pottery sample was first proposed by chemist Farrington Daniels in the 1950s. Applications and limitations of thermoluminescence to date quaternary sediments.
Materials of geological origin will have absorbed considerable quantities of radiation since their formation, so any human-caused exposure to heat or light will reset the luminescence clock considerably more recently than that since only the energy stored since the event will be recorded.