Using three different approaches of OSL for the study of young fluvial sediments at the coastal plain of the Usumacinta–Grijalva River Basin, Southern Mexico

, , , , and . Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 41 (6): 823-834 (May 2016)


We use three different approaches of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to study young fluvial sediments located at the main channels of one of the largest fluvial systems of North America: the Usumacinta–Grijalva. We use the Pulsed Photo-Stimulated Luminescence (PPSL) system also known as portable OSL reader, full OSL dating and profiling OSL dating in samples extracted from vertical sediment profiles (n = 9) of riverbanks to detect changes in depositional rates of sediments and to obtain the age of the deposits. The results of the PPSL system show that the luminescence signals of vertical sediment profiles highly scattered from the top to the bottom contrast with the luminescence pattern observed on well–reset sequences of fluvial deposits where luminescence increase from the top to the bottom of the profile. The profiling and full OSL ages yielded large uncertainty values on their ages. Based on the inconsistencies observed in both ages and luminescence patterns of profiles we suggest that these fluvial deposits were not fully reset during their transport. As an explanation, we propose that in the Usumacinta and Grijalva rivers the cyclonic storms during the wet season promote the entrainment of large volumes of sediments due to high-erosional episodes around the basin resulting from hyper-concentrated and turbid flows. We conclude that the PPSL, profiling and full OSL dating of sediments are useful tools to quantify and to assess the depositional patterns in fluvial settings during the Holocene. These techniques also can yield information about sites where increases in the sediment load of rivers may produce poorly resetting of grains affecting the results of OSL dating.

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