Luminescence as a sediment tracer and provenance tool

Reviews of Geophysics
By: , and 



Luminescence holds unique potential as a sediment tracer and provenance method. The tracer application of luminescence has key advantages including ease of measurement, relatively low cost, and applicability to geologically ubiquitous quartz and feldspar sand and silt. These advantages can help answer fundamental questions about geomorphology, sediment transport, sediment production, and the tectonic/climatic controls on source‐to‐sink sedimentary systems. There is a notable body of research on luminescence as a sediment tracer. These tracer methods range from identifying source locations based on unique luminescence characteristics, to observing changes in luminescence characteristics with transport, to using residual luminescence to infer rates of transport. Previous applications of luminescence include provenance and quantification of fluvial transport rate, tracing of coastal longshore drift, estimations of mixing rates in soil or sediment, and provenance of wind‐blown deposits. The few studies that compare luminescence methods with nonluminescence tracer methods show good agreement. However, more work is needed to test the application of luminescence tracers in sediments. Future research directions should focus on comparing luminescence‐based with nonluminescence tracer methods. Furthermore, research is needed on the effects of specific geomorphic processes on luminescence characteristics and residual doses. While there is significant potential for future research, luminescence is already a useful sediment tracer and provenance tool applicable to a wide range of geomorphic environments.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Luminescence as a sediment tracer and provenance tool
Series title Reviews of Geophysics
DOI 10.1029/2019RG000646
Volume 57
Issue 3
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 31 p.
First page 987
Last page 1017
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