Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 105-122

First online:

Review on dating methods: Numerical dating in the quaternary geology of High Asia

  • Matthias KuhleAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and High Mountain Geomorphology, Georg-August-University of Goettingen Email author 
  • , Sabine KuhleAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and High Mountain Geomorphology, Georg-August-University of Goettingen

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Over the past few years, OSL and TCN datings of glacial material from High Asia have come into fashion. To this day, however, these techniques do not permit safe calibration. The intensity of the cosmic ray flux is being modulated by the solar and terrestrial magnetic fields and their secular fluctuations in the past. So far, these variations cannot be converted into the respective local TCN production rates for High Asia. We have reason to believe that the ages that are being calculated despite these uncertainties are generally overestimated. This assessment is supported by conventional radiocarbon dates and above all by the glacial chronology developed independently on the basis of the Quaternary geological method. The strongly emerging evidence for a much more extensive LGM glaciation of High Asia is, however, either being ignored or rejected by many authors, solely on the basis of the above-mentioned uncalibrated datings. This self-conceit based on the “dating fallacy”, as we call it, should be avoided since it goes decidedly against the standards of the scientific method established in Quaternary geology and makes a fundamental scientific discussion impossible.


Calibration of numerical dating Geomagnetic field excursions Solar activity Interface problem Tibetan ice sheet Dating fallacy