Esr dating definition

Unlike radiometric methods based on the measurement of radioactive growth or decay of isotopes e. Indeed, for Electron Spin Resonance ESR dating of tooth enamel, the origin of the sample as well as its sedimentary context must be well known to ensure an accurate dose rate reconstruction. The systematic record of sampling data in the field appears to be essential for the implementation of the method and thus the calculation of reliable age results. Consequently, we propose here some basic guidelines to help non-dating specialists intending to collect fossil teeth from archaeological or geological context for subsequent ESR dating purposes.

Electron Spin Resonance Dating

Conceived and designed the experiments: Performed the experiments: Analyzed the data: Wrote the paper: The potential of Q-band Electron Spin Resonance ESR for quantitative measurements has been scarcely evaluated in the literature and its application for dose reconstruction of fossil tooth enamel with dating purposes remains still quite unknown. Hence, we have performed a comparative study based on several Early to Middle Pleistocene fossil tooth samples using both X- and Q-band spectroscopies.

Our results show that Q-band offers a significant improvement in terms of sensitivity and signal resolution: However, inherent precision of the ESR intensity measurements at Q-band is clearly lower than that achieved at X-band, highlighting the necessity to carry out repeated measurements. All dose values derived from X- and Q-band are nevertheless systematically consistent at either 1 or 2 sigma.

EPR for dating purposes was first suggested by Ikeya [ 1 ], who published a pioneering work based on the study of a few stalactites from Japanese caves. Since then, numerous dating applications to a wide range of materials have been investigated see [ 2 — 4 ] for extensive reviews. The standard procedure in ESR dating of tooth enamel is based on the Multiple Aliquots Additive MAA dose approach, which consists in dividing the natural sample into different aliquots that are irradiated at increasing doses e.

For practical reasons, ESR measurements are almost exclusively performed on fossil enamel powder, using usually at least several tens of milligrams per aliquot. Consequently, a total of several hundreds of milligrams of enamel sample may be required for the dating process, which is problematic when working on tooth samples with a small amount of enamel available, e. In the last years, the progress of microwave technology has facilitated the use of other resonant frequencies.

Consequently, Q-band ESR spectrometers can resolve peaks with very close g-values that could not be separated at X-band, which may be especially useful for the study of strongly composite signals, such as those of fossil tooth enamel [ 9 — 11 ]. Q-band resonators thus require a much smaller sample mass i. However, Q-band resonators have a smaller size, resulting in a much smaller effective sample volume in comparison with their X-band equivalent.

As the signal intensity is proportional to mass, X-band remains preferred for large sample mass: In the field of retrospective dosimetry, the first paper related to Q-band ESR was published by Romanyukha in [ 12 ] and only a few studies have been conducted until now, mostly involving modern tooth enamel [ 13 , 14 ] and fingernails [ 16 — 18 ]. Regarding fossil tooth enamel, most of the published works are based on qualitative studies of the nature and composition of the ESR signals associated to hydroxyapatite [ 11 , 15 , 19 — 21 ].

So far, the very few attempts of quantitative analysis described in the literature have not produced really encouraging results: Consequently, the real potential of Q-band ESR spectroscopy for dating tooth enamel remains still to be fully evaluated. No permits were required for the described study, which complied with all relevant regulations. Fossil teeth were prepared following a standard ESR dating protocol described in [ 25 ]: Enamel samples were analysed following a MAA dose method.

Depending on the available mass of enamel powder, each sample was split into 10—14 aliquots. These aliquots were irradiated at increasing doses with a calibrated 60 Co gamma source, using an exponential dose step distribution [ 26 ]. ESR measurements were performed at room temperature using the acquisition parameters shown in Table 1.

In order to ensure similar resonance conditions in the resonator for all the aliquots of a given sample i. Depending on the enamel sample, the mass per aliquot was ranging from 68 to 90 mg. A maximum variation of 1 mg was tolerated for all the aliquots from a given sample i. A special attention was paid to the optimisation of the vertical position of the sample in the cavity, so that the centre of the aliquot matches the centre of the cavity [ 5 , 27 ]. This procedure was repeated over several days without removing the enamel from the ESR tubes between measurements.

Acquisition parameters are given in Table 1. Each aliquot was carefully weighed and a single ESR tube was used see next section. To ensure constant experimental conditions over time, the temperature of the room was kept constant using an air conditioning unit. ESR measurements were performed at room temperature and under a nitrogen atmosphere to avoid variations of humidity over time.

For each enamel sample, all the aliquots were measured between 5—10 times 1 scan each with removal of the tube from the cavity between successive measurements. These conditions resulted in a total measurement time of 4—5 hours for a given sample. This procedure was repeated over 3 different days in order to evaluate the repeatability of the ESR measurements over time. Intensities were extracted from peak-to-peak amplitudes of the ESR signal of enamel T1-B2 , and then corrected by the corresponding number of scans, aliquot mass and Quality Q -factor of the cavity.

Because the Q-factor could vary from one measurement to another in Q-band, and significantly impact the ESR signal intensities, specific corrections are thus required in order to achieve accurate quantitative results [ 29 ]. D E values were calculated by fitting procedures carried out with the Microcal OriginPro 8. Further information may be found in the Origin 8 User Guide A single saturating exponential SSE function was used to fit the experimental data points derived from both X- and Q-band measurements, and data were weighted by the inverse of the squared ESR intensity see [ 30 ] for further details.

Fitted parameter errors were assessed through the square root of the covariance matrix diagonal values. Each tube was measured 8 times, the tube being removed from the cavity between each repeated measurements. In this case, sample mass varied between 2. All measurements were carried out within 2—3 hours to ensure constant experimental conditions over time.

Table 2 shows that the variability of the ESR intensities among repeated measurements with each tube gives coefficients of variation CV ranging from 0. For the capillary tubes, this variability is between 1. Considering the variations from tube to tube, the variability among the mean intensities achieved with the 5 different tubes corresponds to a value of 2. For comparison, a similar study was conducted at X-band using the same sample: These values are significantly lower than those obtained with Q-band measurements, thus indicating a better inherent precision of the ESR intensities afforded by X-band spectroscopy.

To sum up, these results indicate that the influence associated with differences in glassware can hardly be differentiated from the variability of the ESR intensities among repeated measurements, especially when working with a Q-band cavity. This variability is most likely from uncertainties associated with tube positioning within the cavity and preferential orientations of the grains in respect to the magnetic field. Given these results, we decided to carry out the subsequent Q-band ESR measurements by using tubes instead of capillary tubes; not only because the precision achieved is slightly better, but also for practical reasons.

Indeed, the need to manually close one end of the capillary tubes makes the procedure longer and at the same time may limit the precision of the measurements. Furthermore, we decided to run all the Q-band ESR measurements of our study with a single tube to remove the uncertainty that may arise from the heterogeneity in glasswares. Because the relation between sample mass and ESR intensity is known to be not fully linear [ 6 ], we performed some tests by varying sample mass in order to evaluate the Q-band cavity response.

To do so, we selected the most irradiated aliquot of sample 1 and carried out 5 to 8 repeated ESR measurements at increasing mass from 0. Fig 1 shows an apparent linear correlation between mass of sample and ESR intensity up to 3. This trend is similar to that obtained for X-band cavities [ 31 , 32 ], except that the mass values considered are considerably lower with Q-band, showing thus the higher sensitivity of the resonator.

With this test we basically have checked that the maximization of the ESR signal is achieved when the active measuring region of the cavity is filled with sample. Experimental uncertainties correspond to one standard deviation from the repeated measurements. Linear regression: Nevertheless, as an additional preventive measure, the variation of sample mass from one aliquot to another of a given sample was also carefully limited, so that the impact of this mass correction could be minimised.

Fig 2 shows the hydroxyapatite ESR spectra obtained for powder fossil tooth enamel of sample 3 natural aliquot as recorded by both X- and Q-band cavities with the same acquisition parameters. It should be noted that the sensitivity in Q-band ESR is considerably increased in comparison with that achieved in X-band. In general, sensitivity is defined as the ability to detect small changes in the quantity that is being measured in ESR: In that regard, the signal-to-noise ratio could be used as a reliable proxy to estimate the sensitivity of a cavity.

This is actually consistent with other previous studies that have shown a gain in sensitivity by a factor of 50 for enamel biopsy samples [ 13 ]. Spectra are recorded with the same acquisition parameters: ESR intensities were normalised according to peak-to-peak T1-B2 amplitude. However, the most striking observation is perhaps the significantly higher spectral resolution of the different components of the hydroxyapatite signal achieved with Q-band in comparison with the X-band resonator Fig 2.

Fig 3 shows another example of X- and Q-band spectra from the Early Pleistocene sample 3, highlighting again the difference in signal resolution: T1 and B2 are only separated by 10 G in X-band spectroscopy vs. This aspect will need to be further explored in the future. Acquisition parameters are provided in Table 1. Sweep width is of G for all ESR spectra. The main objective of the next sections is to gain knowledge about the precision of the ESR measurements using a Q-band spectrometer and to evaluate its impact on the resulting D E values.

Three different samples that cover a wide range of chronologies were selected to perform this study. All the aliquots of a given sample 10—14 aliquots were successively measured according to the experimental conditions described in materials and methods. This procedure was repeated over four different days to evaluate the variability of the results.

Consequently, a mean ESR intensity value, a standard deviation and a CV were obtained for each aliquot. Then, a mean CV value was calculated by averaging the CV values from each aliquot of a given sample. These values are between 0. Each aliquot of a given sample 10—14 aliquots was measured between 5—10 times 1 scan each. The tube was systematically removed from the cavity between each successive measurement. This operation was repeated over three different days.

The variability of the resulting ESR intensities of a given aliquot over successive measurements may be used as a proxy to evaluate the repeatabilility of the Q-band measurements see summary in Table 3: CV values range from a minimum value of 0. These results confirm that the inherent precision of Q-band measurements is lower than that of X-band.

Additionally, this quite high variability indicates that several measurements are required to achieve a meaningful intensity value for each aliquot. For each aliquot of a given sample, repeated ESR measurements lead to the calculation of a mean ESR intensity with an associated coefficient of variation CV. The mean CV indicated in column 5 is obtained by averaging the CV achieved for each aliquot of a given sample within a specific day.

Maximum and minimum CV values observed for each sample within a specific day are indicated in column 6 and 7, respectively. To summarise, although a strict comparison is difficult because of slightly different analytical procedures, our results nevertheless suggest that the precision achieved with the Q-band resonator is significantly lower than that afforded by X-band ESR.

Electron spin resonance dating: The determination of burial age through Common techniques in chemistry and physics, defined by the relevant range of the. Definition. The electron spin resonance (ESR) dating method is one of several radiation exposure methods based on radiation dosimetry such as.

This service is more advanced with JavaScript available, learn more at http: Chronometric Dating in Archaeology pp Cite as. Electron spin resonance ESR dating was introduced into archaeology about 20 years ago. Although the method is still in a rapid phase of development, it has demonstrated its value by providing new chronological evidence about the evolution of modern humans.

Conceived and designed the experiments: Performed the experiments:

Barnacles have never been successfully dated by electron spin resonance ESR. Living mainly in the intertidal zone, barnacles die when sea level changes cause their permanent exposure.


Electron Spin Resonance ESR applied to optically bleached quartz grains extracted from sediment provides an age estimate for the last exposure of sediment to sunlight. This method has been increasingly used in archaeological, geological and geomorphological contexts for the last 30 years. However, its successful application is highly dependent on the geological context and the type and quality of the material sampled. Therefore, appropriate sampling strategy and conditions are crucial to ensure reliable ESR ages. The aim of this paper is to provide basic background information on the best way to collect samples and select the most suitable materials for ESR dating. It is nevertheless highly recommended to contact an ESR geochronologist prior to fieldwork sampling.

Evaluating the Potential of Q-Band ESR Spectroscopy for Dose Reconstruction of Fossil Tooth Enamel

Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Lynne Schepartz. Jack Rink, Lynne A. In contrast to the use of ESR, The Electron Spin Resonance ESR method is general- U-series and palaeomagnetic methods, only one impor- ly applied to the dating of mammalian tooth enamel in tant Chinese site has been dated using tektites. The stone archaeological settings Rink Though human tool assemblages in terrace deposits of the Baise also teeth have been dated, here we use other mammal teeth known as Bose Basin in Guangxi Province were dated to determine the ages of the enclosing sediments that by their unique stratigraphic association with contain a variety of palaeontological and archaeological Australasian tektites that apparently showered the land- materials from Panxian Dadong, southern China. Tooth scape near the time of the Brunhes-Matuyama magnetic enamel records the effects of radiation dose from the reversal. The dose ka Hou et al. A complete tions related to the type of material used in the U-series description of the assumptions involved in ESR dating is dating method.

Electron Spin Resonance Dating, or ESR dating, is a technique used to date newly formed materials, which Radiocarbon dating cannot, like carbonates , tooth enamel , or materials that have been previously heated like igneous rock.

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Electron spin resonance dating


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