Typically OSL techniques produce ages from one or two hundred years to about 400 ka with an error of around 10%.
The DRILL is a research laboratory dedicated to fundamental investigations in the luminescence properties of earth materials and to the application of luminescence dating techniques to geomorphological, geological, and archeological problems.
In the last 30 years, from 1967 to 1997, the use of luminescence signals from naturally occurring minerals has gone though a major metamorphosis, from thermoluminescence (TL) dating of pottery to optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of sediments.
Laboratory procedures for dating sediments have been adapted from those for pottery and new procedures have been developed as the need arises.
As most sedimentary processes or events are based on the deposition of sediment these depositional ages are critical to geomorphological research.
In addition, the age of sediment deposition is also crucial for the evidence found within the sediment such as pollen, fossils and artefacts and therefore the technique is relevant for paleoclimatology, archaeological and paleontological research.
The upper limit of age by OSL is largely determined by the annual dose on the sediment which is related to it's content of uranium, thorium and potassium.