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Book Chapter

Forensic geoscience: introduction and overview

By
Kenneth Pye
Kenneth Pye
1
Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd, Crowthorne Enterprise Centre, Crowthorne Business Estate
Crowthorne RG45 6AW, UK
(e-mail: kpye@kpal.co.uk)
2
Department of Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham Hill, Egham TW20 0EX, UK
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Debra J. Croft
Debra J. Croft
1
Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd, Crowthorne Enterprise Centre, Crowthorne Business Estate
Crowthorne RG45 6AW, UK
(e-mail: kpye@kpal.co.uk)
3
Croft Scientific & Technical, Blaen-y-Waun
Llanafan, Ceredigion SY23 4BD, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

The nature of forensic geoscience

Forensic geoscience may be defined as a subdiscipline of geoscience that is concerned with the application of geological and wider environmental science information and methods to investigations which may come before a court of law. The scientific boundaries of forensic geoscience are not clearly defined, and there are significant overlaps with other, related subdisciplines such as forensic archaeology (Hunter et al. 1987), forensic anthropology, forensic botany (Hall 2002; Horrocks & Walsh 1998), forensic engineering (Shuirman & Slosson 1992) and even forensic medicine and forensic pathology (Knight 1997; DiMaio & DiMaio 2001). Forensic geoscience is concerned with all aspects of earth materials, including rocks, sediments, soil, air and water, and with a wide range of natural phenomena and processes. Since modern sediments and soil also often contain objects and particles of human origin, man-made materials such as brick, concrete, ceramics, glass and various other industrial products and raw materials are also sometimes of interest. These may be of relatively modern origin or of archaeological importance (e.g. Henderson 2002).

Forensic geology (Murray & Tedrow 1975, 1992) may be regarded as a subset of forensic geoscience and is principally concerned with studies of rocks, sediments, minerals, soils and dusts. Environmental forensics (Morrison 2000; Murphy & Morrison 2002), on the other hand, has somewhat wider scope than forensic geoscience, with much stronger links to disciplines such as chemical engineering, and with a greater concern with such issues as groundwater contamination and air pollution modelling.

Forensic geoscience is by nature

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications

K. Pye
K. Pye
Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd & Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
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D. J. Croft
D. J. Croft
Croft Scientific and Technical & Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
232
ISBN electronic:
9781862394803
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

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