Numeric grain modelling – creating virtual sediment deposits to explore research hypotheses

The R-package 'sandbox' is a flexible tool to virtually “play” with most parts of the concept of luminescence dating and beyond. All actions in 'sandbox' are probabilistic and rule-based. The tool lets a user create a virtual sediment profile, or rather the definitions of such a profile. Then, these definitions can be used to create a virtual sample, which contains n sediment grains, each generated from prior defined probabilistic properties, modified by depth-based rules. Each sediment grain has a distinct combination of parameters. These parameters can describe geometric characteristics (e.g., mean and standard deviation of the diameter), mineralogic/chemical/physical properties (e.g., mineral type/erodibility, electron trapping efficancy, response intensity to stimulation, anomalous fading trend) and further properties. The virtual sample can then be virtually prepared, split into a series of aliquots and measured virtually to gain virtual luminescence data. This output may later be analysed with the R-package 'Luminescence'.

At the current stage, the package is under development to complete the data treatment chain for luminescence dating and to extend functionality to other sedimentological disciplines. It is hosted on Github privately and will be made made public as soon as all requests are implemented and tests are finished.