Major concerns in the dating of samples younger than a few hundred years by the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) technique are thermal transfer and partial bleaching. Thermal transfer during preheating enhances the OSL signal due to the charge transfer from thermally sensitive, but light-insensitive, traps to optical centres of quartz and results in an overestimate in equivalent dose, especially for very young samples. In this study, the single-aliquot regenerative-dose protocol is used to obtain values of equivalent dose (D-e) from young samples taken from various environments around Istanbul. Within this framework, we aim to investigate the effect of preheat temperature on equivalent dose from 150 to 300 degrees C, the reproducibility of De measurements for young deposits and the contribution from thermal transfer of charge to the equivalent dose estimation. It was observed that the measured dose is influenced significantly by preheat temperature and the increase in the De is clearly due to thermal transfer of charge from deep thermally sensitive traps to OSL trap during preheating of the samples prior to the main OSL measurements. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.