Forensic geology: yesterday, today and tomorrow
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Hans Gross suggested the possibility of using soil and related material as physical evidence. Edmond Locard provided the intellectual basis for the use of the evidence. High-visibility cases, such as the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the Camarena case, the laboratory of the Garda Siochana in the Lord Mountbatten case and G. Lombardi in the Aldo Moro case, contributed to the general recognition that geological evidence could make an important contribution to justice. The value of geological evidence results from the almost unlimited number of rock, mineral, soil and related kinds of material combined with our ability to use instruments that characterize these materials. Forensic examinations involve identification of earth materials, comparison of samples to determine common source, studies that aid an investigation and intelligence studies. The future will see increased use of the evidence, new automated methods of examination, improved training of those who collect samples, and research on the diversity of soils and how, when and what parts of soils are transferred during various types of contact. The microscope will remain important because it allows the examiner to find the rare and unusual particle.
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Forensic Geoscience: Principles, Techniques and Applications
Forensic geoscience is an increasingly important sub-discipline within geoscience and forensic science. Although minerals, soils, dusts and rock fragments have been used as only begun to be recognized in the last ten years or so. The police and other investigative bodies are keen to encourage such developments in the fight against crime, particularly since many criminals show a high level of forensic awareness with regard to evidence such as fingerprints, blood and other body fluids. The papers in this volume illustrate some of the main principles, techniques and applications in current forensic geoscience, covering research and casework in the UK and internationally. The techniques described range from macro-scale field geophysical investigations to micro-scale laboratory studies of the chemical and textural properties of individual particles. In addition to forensic applications, many of these techniques have broad utility in geological, geomorphological, soil science and archaeological research.