Original paper

Luminescence dating of the Lower Middle Terrace site at Brühl, southern Lower Rhine Embayment – a first dating approach

Lauer, Tobias; Frechen, Manfred; Fischer, Peter

Abstract

The Lower Middle Terrace (LMT) in the Lower Rhine area is part of a complex system of fluvial terrace-staircas- es within the Rhine area and yields an important archive for periods of fluvial aggradation driven by climate and tectonics. The so far existing chronostratigraphy of the Lower Middle Terrace is mainly based on geomorphological aspects, petrogra- phy and age estimates of cover sediments. Hence, there is a need to establish a more reliable chronological framework for the aggradation period of the fluvial sand and gravel related to the LMT itself. Here, we present first luminescence dating results from the LMT site at Brühl, southern Lower Rhine Embayment. Due to the saturation of the quartz OSL signal, luminescence measurements concentrated on the pIRIR290dating approach. The determined feldspar-pIRIR290luminescence ages highlight that the LMT at Brühl seems to be correlated with the penultimate (Saalian) glaciation. The deposits yield ages ranging from 140 ± 9 to 147 ± 11 ka and illustrate increased flu- vial activity during the penultimate glacial maximum (MIS 6). These first luminescence age estimates should motivate to further systematically study the chronological framework of the LMT also at additional sites of the Rhine system to unravel the aggradation history of the river Rhine in more detail.

Keywords

lower middle terracelower rhinefluvial archivesrhine systemluminescence dating