Characterization and age determination of Quaternary volcanism in the southern Ankaratra region (central Madagascar) through novel approaches in luminescence dating

Rufer, Daniel (2009). Characterization and age determination of Quaternary volcanism in the southern Ankaratra region (central Madagascar) through novel approaches in luminescence dating. (Dissertation, University of Bern, Faculty of Science)

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This work introduces two novel approaches for the application of luminescence dating techniques to Quaternary volcanic eruptions: crystalline xenoliths from lava flows are demonstrated to be basically suitable for luminescence dating, and a set of phreatic explosion deposits from the Late Quaternary Vakinankaratra volcanic field in central Madagascar is successfully dated with infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL). Using a numerical model approach and experimental verification, the potential for thermal resetting of luminescence signals of xenoliths in lava flows is demonstrated. As microdosimetry is an important aspect when using sample material extracted from crystalline whole rocks, autoradiography using image plates is introduced to the field of luminescence dating as a method for detection and assessment of spatially resolved radiation inhomogeneities. Determinations of fading rates of feldspar samples have been observed to result in aberrant g-values if the pause between preheat and measurement in the delayed measurements was kept short. A systematic investigation reveals that the phenomenon is caused by the presence of three signal components with differing individual fading behaviour. As this is restricted to short pauses, it is possible to determine a minimal required delay between preheating and measurement after which the aberrant behaviour disappears. This is applied in the measuring of 12 samples from phreatic explosion deposits from the Antsirabe – Betafo region in the Late Quaternary Vakinankaratra volcanic field. The samples were taken from stratigraphically correlatable sections and appear to represent at least three phreatic events, one of which created the Lac Andraikiba maar near Antsirabe. The obtained ages indicate that the eruptive activity in the region started in the Late Pleistocene between 113.9 and 99.6 ka. A second layer in the Betafo area is dated at approximately 73 ka and the Lac Andraikiba deposits give an age between 63.9 and 50.7 ka. The youngest phreatic layer is dated between 33.7 and 20.7 ka. These ages are the first recorded direct ages of such volcanic deposits, as well as the first and only direct ages for the Late Quaternary volcanism in the Vakinankaratra volcanic field. This illustrates the huge potential of this new method for volcanology and geochronology, as it enables direct numerical dating of a type of volcanic deposit which has not been successfully directly dated by any other method so far.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Tectonics

UniBE Contributor:

Rufer, Daniel; Schreurs, Guido; Berger, Alfons; Gnos, Edwin and Preusser, Frank

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniel Rufer

Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2016 10:44

Last Modified:

11 Aug 2016 10:44

Related URLs:

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84464

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84464

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