The feasibility of using naturally-occurring calcite for gamma-ray dosimetry was investigated. Anneal treatment above 350 degrees C increased the sensitivity of all radiation-induced TL peaks except the glow peaks above 300 degrees C. On the other hand, annealing in air, at a temperature of 700 degrees C caused a collapse in the TL sensitivity. The increase in TL efficiency was found to depend on the annealing temperature and time. Heating at 600 degrees C for 5 h and quenching in ambient air are the optimum conditions for TL sensitivity enhancement in the calcite materials investigated. These results are explained using the energy scheme of the pre-dose model of Zimmerman (1971) and in terms of the impurity rearrangements in the crystal lattice induced by heating. It was found that the values of the kinetic parameters E, s and b for TL glow peaks remained unchanged for annealed samples. The TL dose-response curves for stable dosimetric peaks of annealed and unannealed calcite samples could be fitted to the same linear mathematical function. This implies that the annealing process probably does not change the nature of the trapping centers except the low temperature TL peaks at 125 and 160 degrees C of flowstone. The TL dosimetric parameters of calcite samples annealed, including glow curves, fading characteristics, dose-responses, dose-rate responses and energy responses, have also been studied in detail. The response to gamma-rays of annealed calcite samples was found to be linear from 0.05 to 10(4) Gy. The lower limit of observable doses for each calcite sample was about 0.05 Gy. This offers the possibility of applying the investigated materials for gamma-ray dosimetry within this useful range. These dosimeters can be used in various applications, such as, in industries related to chemical technology (polymerization), food processing and in determining the dose received by the patient during medical examination and treatment. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.