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Chronological REference Datasets and Sites (CREDit) towards improved accuracy and precision in luminescence-based chronologies

Project description

Standardised datasets will help us date climate events and more

Determining numbers like weights, lengths, times and ages relies on a standardised dataset to which to compare, a practice that exists from ancient times. The Egyptian cubit in the 3rd millennium BC was the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. When it comes to pinning down specific events in our Earth's past, luminescence dating is a group of methods commonly employed. It quantifies the last exposure to sunlight of sediments and is widely used to investigate climate events over the most recent 2.6 billion years of our planet. The EU-funded CREDit project will significantly enhance the accuracy of these methods by developing chronological reference datasets for luminescence dating.


Numerical chronologies decisively determine the understanding and Numerical chronologies decisively determine the understanding and interpretation of environmental processes in the Earth Sciences and patterns of human evolution in the Archaeological Sciences. Of interest are the onset, duration, and intensity of events and phases. Luminescence dating is an event-based dosimetric age determination technique and one of the leading chronological methods in Quaternary science. However, methodological diversity and complexity, and the absence of community-wide protocol and calibration standards limit overall accuracy and precision. This project will contribute to the accuracy and precision of luminescence-based chronologies by implementing Chronological REference Datasets and Sites (CREDit) in a bottom-up approach. (1) An annually layered sediment core from the Eifel-Laminated-Sediment-Archive (ELSA) will provide a well-dated reference site to test luminescence dating methods and investigate their uncertainty structure. (2) A luminescence reference dataset will be deployed based on measured, and artificially generated data using energy-band models. (3) Both datasets will be used to test (a) luminescence data analysis tools and (b) models depending on accurate chronologies, e.g. age-depth models. The project will deliver a new approach to test luminescence dating methods using an independently high-resolution dated reference site. Additionally, the reference dataset will be designed to allow testing and certifying luminescence data analysis tools. Beyond these goals, the project will give valuable insights into the uncertainty structure of luminescence ages, and it will considerably improve the quality of luminescence-based chronologies. A clear open-access dissemination strategy will support the sustainability of the project in Quaternary science and the exploitation of the results in adjacent scientific disciplines following the Open Science initiative of Horizon 2020.



Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Visualisation centre penglais
SY23 3BF Aberystwyth
United Kingdom

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Wales West Wales and The Valleys South West Wales
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00