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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-173
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2019-173
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 11 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Surface paleothermometry using low temperature thermoluminescence of feldspar

Rabiul H. Biswas1, Frédéric Herman1, Georgina E. King1, Benjamin Lehmann1, and Ashok K. Singhvi2 Rabiul H. Biswas et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India

Abstract. Thermoluminescence (TL) of feldspar is investigated for its potential to extract temperature histories experienced by rocks exposed at Earth’s surface. TL signals from feldspar observed in the laboratory arise from the release of trapped electrons from a continuous distribution of trapping energies that have range of thermal stabilities. The distribution of trapping energies, or thermal stabilities, is such that the lifetime of trapped electrons at room temperature ranges from less than a year to several billion years. Shorter lifetimes are associated with low temperature TL signals, or peaks, and longer lifetimes are associated with high temperature TL signals. Here we show that trapping energies associated with shorter lifetimes, or lower temperature TL signals (i.e., between 200 °C and 250 °C), are sensitive to temperature fluctuations occurring at Earth’s surface over geological timescales. Furthermore, we show that it is possible to reconstruct past surface temperature histories in terrestrial settings by exploiting the continuous distribution of trapping energies. The potential of this method is first tested through theoretical experiments, in which a periodic temperature history is applied to a kinetic model that encapsulates the kinetic characteristics of TL-thermometry. We then use a Bayesian approach to invert TL measurements into temperature histories of rocks, assuming that past temperature variations follow the observed δ18O anomalies. Finally, we test the approach on two samples collected at the Mer de Glace (Mont Blanc massif, European Alps) and find similar temperature histories for both samples. Our results show that TL of feldspar may be used as a paleo-thermometer.

Rabiul H. Biswas et al.

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Rabiul H. Biswas et al.

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Latest update: 09 Jul 2020
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Short summary
A new approach to reconstruct the temporal variation of rock surface temperature using the thermoluminescence (TL) of feldspar is introduced. Multiple TL signals or thermometers in the range of 210 to 250 °C are sensitive to typical surface temperature fluctuations and can be used to constrain thermal histories of rocks over ~50 kyr. We show that it is possible to recover thermal histories of rocks when one assumes that the temperature followed observed δ18O anomalies.
A new approach to reconstruct the temporal variation of rock surface temperature using the...
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