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Journal Article

Luminescence dating of Late Pleistocene eruptions in the Eifel Volcanic Field, Germany


Richter,  Daniel
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Schmidt, C., Schaarschmidt, M., Kolb, T., Büchel, G., Richter, D., & Zöller, L. (2017). Luminescence dating of Late Pleistocene eruptions in the Eifel Volcanic Field, Germany. Journal of Quaternary Science, 32(5), 628-638. doi:10.1002/jqs.2961.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-B0E8-4
Robust chronologies of Late Pleistocene and Holocene volcanic eruptions are vital for hazard analysis but accurate and precise dating of these events is often difficult. Here we apply various luminescence techniques to quartz and polymineral extracts from heated crustal xenoliths enclosed in scoria and volcanically heated bedrock in the Quaternary Eifel Volcanic Field (EVF), Germany. Consistent results from red thermoluminescence (RTL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) of quartz and from post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence of polymineral material demonstrate complete luminescence signal resetting during lava emplacement and sufficient signal stability. RTL and OSL age underestimation of one sample with independently known age from the lava contact zone could be eliminated by annealing before laboratory regenerative irradiation. The average luminescence age of 33.6 ± 2.4 ka for the Wartgesberg eruption is in good agreement with independent age control, while the average age of 15.5 ± 1.1 ka for the Facher Höhe scoria cone is much younger than previously assumed. This result represents the third youngest known eruption in the EVF. Our new data are in line with the hypothesized climate-controlled triggering of Eifel volcanism and confirm that active volcanism related to asthenosphere upwelling migrates from NW to SE in the EVF.