This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Investigation of a Novel Application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) for Sediment Fingerprinting




Hicks, Taryn

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) is a tool that is commonly used to measure the length of time a quartz or feldspar grain has been buried in a sediment deposit. Recently there have been advances in using OSL as a sediment fingerprinting tool. In order to test this novel application of OSL, quartz grains from three major sandstone units along the Buffalo National River (BNR) in Northwestern Arkansas have been analyzed. OSL sensitivity and linearly modulated (LM-OSL) measurements of quartz grains from the sandstones were also investigated to determine if there are noticeable OSL characteristic differences between the major sandstone units. This novel application of OSL was paired with heavy mineral analyses of the sandstones to quantify potential differences between the units. This study finds that there are noticeable differences in the OSL signals and heavy minerals, which provides a promising outlook on the applicability of OSL investigations for sediment fingerprinting and provenance. By utilizing multiple tools and analyses, the utility of OSL as a sediment fingerprinting tool has been further quantified.