Sedimentological processes in lahars: insights from optically stimulated luminescence analysis

Munoz-Salinas, E., Bishop, P., Zamorano, J.J. and Sanderson, D.C.W. (2012) Sedimentological processes in lahars: insights from optically stimulated luminescence analysis. Geomorphology, 136(1), pp. 106-113. (doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.06.024)

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A lahar is a sediment-laden flow capable of major destructive impacts on infrastructure and human life. How lahars transport sediment is thus a key issue for understanding lahar sedimentology and behavior, especially in terms of the lahar's hydraulic and rheological properties, which can be substantially altered as the lahar gains or loses material during its travel. In this research, we analyze lahar entrainment processes by evaluating luminescence signals (total photon counts) from lahar sediments using blue luminescence signals (BLSL). A portable OSL reader that analyzes several grams of polymineral and polygrain-size samples was applied. We use data from three lahars in the Tenenepanco and Huiloac gorges on Popocatépetl volcano (Mexico) to elucidate the ways in which lahars may gain, lose and transport sediment during flow. Sediment samples for luminescenceanalysis were taken through the full thickness of the lahar deposits at eight different sites for two lahars (1997 and 2001) and at one site for a lahar that occurred > 500 yrs ago. Mean luminescence values obtained for the 1997 lahar help to evaluate the relationship between the lahar entrainment processes and the drainage at the different sites. For the 2001 lahar this relationship was also established taking into account the channel slope. The main conclusion is that luminescence signals (total photon counts) can be used to detect entrained material in the flow because the bulked materials modify the final OSL signals. The application of this type of luminescenceanalysis thus has the potential to provide a better understanding of sediment entrainment in these sediment-laden flows.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Munoz-Salinas, Dr Esperanza and Sanderson, Professor David and Bishop, Professor Paul
Authors: Munoz-Salinas, E., Bishop, P., Zamorano, J.J., and Sanderson, D.C.W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Geomorphology
Published Online:27 June 2011

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