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We have to be very careful not to expose the sediments to sunlight when we do this!
The radiation dose rate is also measured in grays, but as we calculate the dose rate per thousand years, it is grays per thousand years (Gy/ka). A robust feldspar luminescence dating method for Middle and Late Pleistocene sediments.
Other important factors that need to be considered when calculating the radiation dose rate are the water content of the sediment and how much sediment is on top of the sample site.
It is necessary to use red light conditions in the laboratory because the luminescence signal is light sensitive, and red light does not re-set it.
We prepare the sample through treating it with acids to remove any calcium carbonate or organic material, and sieve it to get a specific grain size (usually between 0.018 – 0.025 mm diameter), which we then measure in a specialised instrument.