The Junior Research Group “Middle Pleistocene Surface Processes” started its work in March 2018, and is engaged in constraining sediment dynamics and landscape changes in the Middle Pleistocene (~125-780 ka). While reliable dating methods exist for the Late Pleistocene (~12-125 ka) and the Holocene (since ~12 ka), it remains challenging to obtain robust chronologies for older sediments and their associated landforms.
To provide such robust chronologies, the research of the group is focusing on testing and further developing violet stimulated luminescence on quartz and infra-red radiofluorescence on feldspars. These methods have shown great potential in extending the age range; however there is still great need for further research in order to find standard measurement procedures. Further, the Junior Research Group works on pulsed infra-red stimulated luminescence. An important aspect is the comparison of the obtained ages with independent age control, and for sediments <125 ka also with conventional optically stimulated luminescence ages. To better understand any observed luminescence characteristics, geochemical and microscopic analyses are undertaken on selected samples. It is aimed to apply the new methods on various sedimentary archives to develop highly-resolved age models for the Middle Pleistocene and its surface processes.