Luminescence dating of wind-blown sands from the Broo Peninsula, Shetland

Kinnaird, T.C., Simpson, I. and Sanderson, D.C.W. (2012) Luminescence dating of wind-blown sands from the Broo Peninsula, Shetland. Technical Report. SUERC, University of Glasgow, East Kilbride, UK.

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This report provides a temporal framework to support University of Stirling geo-archaeological investigations near Huesbreck, Broo Pennisula (Shetland), examining how the early modern population there, adapted to harsh climate conditions in the 18-19th centuries, when enhanced aeolian activity led to an influx of sand to the area, leading to adaption’s in farming practices, and abandonment of several sites. Five sediment samples were submitted to the luminescence laboratories at SUERC for dating. All samples were subjected to laboratory preparation of sand-sized quartz, and purity checked using scanning electron microscopy. Dose rates for the bulk sediment were evaluated using analyses of the uranium, thorium and potassium concentrations obtained by high resolution gamma spectrometry coupled with beta dose rate measurement using thick source beta counting, and in situ field gamma spectroscopy. Equivalent doses were determined by OSL from 32 aliquots of quartz per sample using the quartz single-aliquot-regenerative (SAR) procedure. The material exhibited good OSL sensitivity and produced acceptable SAR internal quality control performance. Radial plotting methods revealed good internal homogeneity in the dose distributions obtained for each sample. The chronology established for the sampled sands on the site spans from the mid 16th century (AD 1540 ± 40; SUTL2441) through to the early 19th century (AD 1810 ± 25), with the dates falling within three clusters - the waning stages of the Little Ice Age, the mid 18th century (AD 1730 ± 25 to 1760 ± 25) and the early 19th century (AD 1810 ± 25). In the wider region, periods of sand movement and deposition in the mid 18th century, and early to late 18th century, are documented in sediment statigraphies sectioned at the Old Scatness Broch, Scatness.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Technical Report)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kinnaird, Dr Timothy and Sanderson, Professor David
Authors: Kinnaird, T.C., Simpson, I., and Sanderson, D.C.W.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Publisher:SUERC, University of Glasgow
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Authors

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