Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) enables the chronology of the late Pleistocene evolution for the Val d'Agri intermontane basin of Southern Apennines to be defined in the frame of Mediterranean geodynamic and climate changes. Quartz sand from braided floodplain and alluvial fan depositional systems was analyzed using the coarse-grained, single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) technique. The obtained optical ages are mostly consistent with other assessments (radiocarbon, tephrochronology) and stratigraphic constraints. OSL allows for the dating to 56–43 ka of an asymmetric subsidence stage that forced alluvial fan progradation, filling of a former lacustrine area, and development of an axial alluvial plain. A short period of Mediterranean-type pedogenesis, recorded at the top of the prograding-aggrading fans (OSL age bracket 43–32 ka), corresponds with MIS 3. During the subsequent stage of decline of vegetation cover, possibly corresponding to MIS 2, the latest progradation of alluvial fans occurred. The subsequent uplift and breakthrough of the basin threshold during the latest Pleistocene and Holocene induced entrenchment of the drainage network. The results presented here provide an example of the usefulness of OSL dating in intermontane continental settings where other geochronological constraints are scarce.