Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Luminescence Sensitivity of Rhine Valley Loess: Indicators of Source Variability?

Version 1 : Received: 29 July 2021 / Approved: 30 July 2021 / Online: 30 July 2021 (09:11:18 CEST)

How to cite: Fitzsimmons, K.; Perić, Z.; Nowatzki, M.; Lindauer, S.; Vinnepand, M.; Prud'homme, C.; Dave, A.K.; Voett, A.; Fischer, P. Luminescence Sensitivity of Rhine Valley Loess: Indicators of Source Variability?. Preprints 2021, 2021070681 Fitzsimmons, K.; Perić, Z.; Nowatzki, M.; Lindauer, S.; Vinnepand, M.; Prud'homme, C.; Dave, A.K.; Voett, A.; Fischer, P. Luminescence Sensitivity of Rhine Valley Loess: Indicators of Source Variability?. Preprints 2021, 2021070681

Abstract

Loess provides a valuable terrestrial record of past environmental conditions, including the dynamics of air mass circulation responsible for dust transport. Here we explore variations in the luminescence characteristics of sedimentary quartz and feldspar – dominant minerals in loess-palaeosol sequences (LPS) - as possible tools for identifying changes in source. We investigate luminescence sensitivity, a rapidly measurable index which is the product of interplay between source lithology and the history of the mineral in question. Variations in sensitivity down profile may therefore reflect, among other factors such as pedogenesis and reworking, changes in sediment provenance. We undertake an empirical investigation of the luminescence sensitivity of quartz and feldspar from different grain-size fractions from the climatically sensitive Schwalbenberg LPS in the German Rhine valley, comparing samples from a 30 m core spanning the last full glacial cycle with samples of oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 3-2 age exposed within a c. 6 m profile downslope. The temporal overlap enables comparison of luminescence characteristics with respect to possible provenance change during that timeframe. We find an overall inverse relationship between quartz and feldspar sensitivity, as well as variability in sensitivity between different quartz grain sizes. There is some indication that feldspar sensitivity increases during periods of soil formation down the core. In particular, measurements of IR50 sensitivity on unprocessed sediments show correlation with down-profile trends in more established indicators of provenance. This suggests it may be used to provide a reliable, rapid scan of sensitivity changes, and may suggest source variability over millennial timescales.

Keywords

loess-palaeosol sequences, luminescence signal sensitivity, quartz, feldspar, Schwalbenberg, sediment provenance, sediment history, optically stimulated luminescence, infrared stimulated luminescence, Central Europe, Rhine valley

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