Towards the Eemian: Potential and limits of luminescence dating for establishing a high-resolution chronostratigraphy. - A case study from Saxony/Germany

Sebastian Kreutzer1, Sascha Meszner2, Dominik Faust2, Markus Fuchs1
1 Institut für Geographie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
2 Institut für Geographie, TU Dresden

P 2.6 in Löss und terrestrische Archive


Loess-paleosol sequences are one of the most important quaternary archives for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and preserve important climatic information. Nevertheless, revealing the full environmental information of the identified stratigraphy, there is a need to temporally characterize the investigated archive. Therefore numerical chronologies are needed. During the last decades optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating has become one the most important numerical dating technique for terrestrial sediment archives. Covering the full last glacial-interglacial cycle, the understanding of loess-paleosol sequence and the development of luminescence dating techniques have progressed hand-in-hand (Roberts, 2008).

In a comprehensive paleaoenvironmental reconstruction study since 2008, the Saxonian Loess Region has been reinvestigated by fieldwork and supported by sedimentological analyses. One focus of this study was the establishment of a reliable numerical chronology. As a result, a new composite profile supported by a high-resolution OSL chronostratigraphy was established (Meszner et al., 2011). First using different grain size fractions of the mineral quartz (Kreutzer et al. 2012) and later focussing on fine grain (4-11 µm) quartz dating, it was possible to reliable date the loess sections up to the Eemian soil. Furthermore, a hiatus was identified in most of the profiles covering the entire MIS4.

Based on our experience in Saxony, with this contribution we focus on the potentials and the recent limits of OSL dating on loess profiles up to the Eemian soil.




Kreutzer, S., Fuchs, M., Meszner, S. & Faust, D. (2012): OSL chronostratigraphy of a loess-palaeosol sequence in Saxony/Germany using quartz of different grain sizes, Quaternary Geochronology: 1–8. DOI:10.1016/j.quageo.2012.01.004.

Meszner, S., Fuchs, M. & Faust, D. (2011): Loess-Paleosol-Sequences from the loess area of Saxony (Germany), E & G, Quaternary Science Journal, 60(1): 47–65.

Roberts, H. M. (2008): The development and application of luminescence dating to loess deposits: a perspective on the past, present and future, Boreas, 37: 483–507.

Letzte Änderung 26.07.2012