In the Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology research group we are using a range of chronological techniques to study how landforms, environments, ecosystems and even our ancestors, have evolved through time.
Precise and accurate chronologies are critical to all aspects of Quaternary research, allowing measurement of timing and rates of change, as well as quantification of dating uncertainties. Researchers at Manchester specialise in both the application and development of cosmogenic nuclide dating, optically stimulated luminescence dating, and tephrochronology.
Who we are
Jason Dortch (Groups: QEG, EPRG)
Much of Jason’s work involves the use of cosmogenic radionuclide dating (Be-10, Al-26, Cl-36) to quantify rates of erosion and the ages of landforms. This work has been extended into exploring the statistical treatment of cosmogenic ages using probability density functions and analysis of outliers.
Christine Lane (Group: QEG)
Specialising in the detection and analysis of far travelled volcanic ash layers, Christine uses tephrochronology and tephrostratigraphy to: (i) constrain the timing and mechanisms of palaeoclimate change; (ii) explore the responses of past hominin populations and their environments to Late Quaternary climatic fluctuations.
Abi Stone (Groups: QEG, EPRG)
Abi uses optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to obtain estimates of burial histories of, or accumulation chronologies from, geoproxies such as sand dunes, particularly from sites in southern Africa. She is keen to pursue other OSL dating applications, especially in dryland environments, and also has an interest (and experience) in U-Th dating of carbonate deposits.
Current research projects
- Determining the best cosmogenic radionuclide lithology pair to quantify the ages of old desert pavements. Jason Dortch and Lindsay Schoenbohm (University of Toronto)
- Developing a usable Gaussian separation program using MATLAB for the wider cosmogenic community to use. Jason Dortch and Madhav Murari (University of Cincinnati)
- Augmenting boulder selection for cosmogenic dating in the UK using a Schmidt hammer. Matt Tomkins, Jason Dortch and Phil Hughes
- Tephra records of East African environments. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship 2012-2015, Christine Lane
- Crypto-tephrochronology as a dating and correlation technique in archaeological records. Christine Lane
- Towards a Holocene tephrostratigraphy of East Africa. Catherine Martin-Jones (Aberystwyth PhD student), Christine Lane, Henry Lamb & Nick Pearce (Aberystwyth).
- Casting new light on Quaternary environmental change in the Namib Desert. Abi Stone
- Attempting rapid age assessment of dune sediments in the Namib Sand Sea using a portable luminescence reader. Abi Stone and Mark Bateman (University of Sheffield)