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Title: Numerical modelling of environmental dose rate and its application to trapped-charge dating
Author: Nathan, Roger P.
ISNI:       0000 0003 6634 2567
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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Accurate estimation of environmental dose rate is essential for high-resolution trapped-charge dating. Beta and gamma emissions from simulated sediments containing radioactive uranium, thorium and potassium are modelled in contexts that are spatially heterogeneous. Dose rate was modelled using Monte Carlo radiation transport codes MCNP and PENELOPE. A number of key issues that affect dose rate evaluation are examined and updated corrections are calculated. Granular structures used for geometrical input into the models were simulated using randomly packed ellipsoids. The pair correlation function and chord length distributions were derived. The effects of water content on dose rate were modelled and compared with cavity theory. Apart from activity dilution, the variation of grain size or water content was shown to be significant for gamma radiations due to the transition from charged particle equilibrium. The standard correction for beta dose rate due to grain size was found to be satisfactory although sensitivity to grain shape and material should be taken into account. Dose rate modeling was applied to three dating studies of early human fossils: Skhul V, Israel skull; Hofmeyr, South Africa skull and the Forbes’ Quarry, Gibraltar skull. The spatial modelling was implemented using computerised tomographic (CT) images and dose rate found to be modified significantly by the presence of the skull in the sediment. Time evolution of the dose rate was examined for the latter two skulls and dates of 36±3ka (Hofmeyr) and 55-95ka (Forbes’ Quarry) were calculated.
Supervisor: Rhodes, Edward J. ; Schwenninger, Jean-Luc Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archeology ; Dating ; Stochastic processes ; Numerical analysis ; Applications and algorithms ; trapped-charge luminescence dating ; dose ; doserate ; Monte Carlo ; radiation ; alpha ; beta ; gamma