Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2021-32
https://doi.org/10.5194/gchron-2021-32

  03 Nov 2021

03 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GChron.

Technical note: Quantifying Uranium-series disequilibrium in natural samples for dosimetric dating – Part 1: gamma spectrometry

Barbara Mauz1,2, Paul J. Nolan3, and Peter G. Appleby3 Barbara Mauz et al.
  • 1School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK
  • 2Department of Geology and Geography, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, 5020, Austria
  • 3School of Physical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK

Abstract. Dosimetric dating techniques rely on accurate and precise determination of environmental radioactivity. Gamma spectrometry is the method of choice for determining the activity of 238U, 232Th and 40K. With the aim to standardise gamma-spectrometric procedures for the purpose of determining accurate parent nuclide activities in natural samples, we outline here basics of gamma spectrometry and practical laboratory procedures. This includes gamma radiation and instrumentation, sample preparation, finding the suitable measurement geometry and sample size for a given detector and using the most suitable energy peaks in a gamma spectrum. The issue of correct efficiency calibration is highlighted. The procedures outlined are required for estimating contemporary parent nuclide activity. For estimating changing activities during burial specific data analyses are required and these are also highlighted.

Barbara Mauz et al.

Status: open (until 01 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gchron-2021-32', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Nov 2021 reply

Barbara Mauz et al.

Barbara Mauz et al.

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Short summary
It is of critical importance to dosimetric dating techniques that the quantity of the radiation dose is estimated accurately. Here we describe instruments, measurement procedures and data analyses required for estimating parent nuclide activities. We describe analytical procedures required to generate data with sufficient accuracy and precision for samples in secular equilibrium and illustrate additional procedures to quantify disequilibrium.