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These “deep traps” (stable traps associated with high energy levels) can adequately be used for dating.

The total amount of trapped electrons within a crystal is proportional to the total energy absorbed and retained by the crystal (or dose), hence the time it was exposed to radiation.

A case study of fluvial sands from the lower terrace of the Moselle valley is then presented to describe the range of field and laboratory procedures required for successful luminescence dating.

The paper also reviews the place of OSL dating in geomorphological research in France and assesses its potential for further research, by focusing on the diversity of sedimentary environments and topics to which it can be usefully applied.

This paper aims to provide an overview concerning the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating method and its applications for geomorphological research in France.