A comparison of single-grain and small aliquot dating of fine sand from Cyrenaica, northern Libya

Natalie J. Russell, Simon J. Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, single-grain studies have significantly enhanced optically stimulated luminescence dating of quartz from Quaternary and archaeological sediments. However, single-grain dating is time consuming and requires specialised equipment, leading a number of authors to advocate measurement of small, multi-grain aliquots, as a viable alternative. In this study, we compare single-grain and small aliquot data from four samples from Cyrenaica, northern Libya. Discrepancies are found between the results obtained using these two techniques, which we attribute to: (1) grains with poor luminescence properties, which are present in the small aliquot data but not the single-grain data and (2) averaging effects in multi-grain aliquots. We suggest that small aliquot measurements are not always an appropriate alternative to single-grain analysis, and that small aliquot datasets should be treated with caution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalQuaternary Geochronology
Early online date29 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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