Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating is now widely accepted as a chronometer for terrestrial sediment. More recently, it has been suggested that OSL may also be useful in the dating of deep-sea marine sediments. In this paper, we test the usefulness of high resolution quartz OSL dating in application to a 19 m marine sediment core (MR0604-PC04A) taken from the southwestern Sea of Okhotsk, immediately to the north of Hokkaido, Japan. Fine-grained quartz (4 to 11 μm) was chosen as the dosimeter, and a single-aliquot regenerative-dose protocol was used for the determination of equivalent dose (De), with stimulation by both infrared and blue light. The suitability of the measurement procedure was confirmed using dose recovery tests. A high resolution record (∼2 OSL ages/m) identified clear sedimentation rate changes down the core. The OSL ages are significantly dependent on the water content model chosen; two alternative interpretations are discussed, and the geologically preferred model identified. However, ages resulting from the observed (non-modeled) water content lie closest to the available radiocarbon ages (in the range back to 20 ka). Our OSL ages confirm the known high sedimentation rates in this locality, and for the first time demonstrate clear differences in sedimentation rate before, during and after deglaciation. Although the apparent accuracy of single sample ages is not always consistent with expectations, average ages are accurate, and our data show that OSL dating can be a powerful method for establishing high resolution marine chronologies.
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