SAR-OSL dating studies of Romanian, Serbian and Chinese loess using fine and coarse quartz have previously resulted in a series of controversial issues. We extend here the investigations using fine (4–11 μm) and different coarse quartz (>63 μm) grains extracted from aeolianites from a site on Eivissa Island (southwestern Mediterranean). Aeolianites were chosen since they contain quartz from a different geological context and have significantly lower environmental dose rates. The dose response curves of the OSL signals for fine and coarse quartz are similar to those for loess and are also represented by the sum of two saturating exponential functions. For doses up to ~200 Gy, the dose response curves of fine and coarse grains from aeolianites can be superimposed and the ages obtained for the different grain sizes are in agreement up to ~250 ka, increasing our confidence in the accuracy of the ages obtained for samples with such doses, irrespective of the magnitude of the environmental dose rate.
Particularly for the fine quartz fraction, a mismatch between the SAR dose response curve and the dose response curve obtained when doses are added to the natural is reported, indicating that the application of the SAR protocol in the high dose range is problematic. This dose dependent deviation is much less pronounced for coarse grains. Thus, it seems reasonable to infer that the dose response curves for the coarse grains, although saturating earlier can be regarded as more reliable for equivalent dose calculation than those for the fine grains.