Luminescence dating of volcanogenic outburst flood sediments from Aso volcano and tephric loess deposits, southwest Japan

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Abstract

Luminescence dating has been applied to volcanogenic outburst flood sediments (Takuma gravel bed) from Aso volcano, Japan, and tephric loess deposits overlying the gravel bed. The poly-mineral fine grains (4–11 μm) from loess deposits were measured with pulsed optically stimulated luminescence (pulsed OSL) and post-IR infrared stimulated luminescence (pIRIR) methods, whereas the Takuma gravel bed containing no quartz, was measured with IRSL and pIRIR methods using sand sized (150–200 μm) plagioclase. The loess deposits date back at least to ∼50 ka by consistent IRSL, pIRIR and pulsed OSL ages from the lowermost part of the loess deposits from one section. The ages obtained from the bottom part of the other loess section are not consistent each other. However, we consider that the pIRIR age (72±6 ka) which showed negligible anomalous fading is most reliable, and regard as a preliminary minimum age of the Takuma gravel bed. The equivalent doses (De) for the plagioclase from the Takuma gravel bed have a narrow distribution and the weighted mean of the three samples yield an age of 89±3 ka. This age is in agreement with the last caldera-forming eruption of Aso volcano (∼87 ka) and it is likely that the pIRIR signal has not been bleached before the deposition. IRSL dating without applying pIRIR using small aliquots was also conducted, however, the IRSL signal shows no clear evidence of an additional bleaching during the event of outburst flood from the caldera lake.

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