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Book Chapter

Geophysical techniques for forensic investigation

By
Peter J. Fenning
Peter J. Fenning
1
VJ GeoConsultants
9 Avon Wharf, Bridge Street, Christchurch, BH23 1DJ, UK
(e-mail: VJ_Consultants@hotmail.com)
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Laurance J. Donnelly
Laurance J. Donnelly
2
British Geological Survey, Kingsley Dunham Centre, Nicker Hill
Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

A wide range of geophysical techniques is applied in forensic investigations where the target objects are frequently buried under ground and are often small in size. These include targets which are only a few centimetres in diameter but located within a large search area are often of several hectares. The application of a specific geophysical technique may be governed by the physical properties of the target object and its local surroundings. However, operational and financial costs are important. Topographical and geological variations or presence of man-made structures may hinder the application of the most cost-effective technique. Additionally, site area, logistics and weather conditions are also important factors.

Generally, to overcome these difficulties it is recommended that forensic geophysics be carried out along conventional geophysical guidelines as used in civil-engineering site investigation. On occasion, departure from these conventional guidelines may be beneficial in that field survey data acquisition can be complemented by simultaneous direct invasive assessment of geophysical anomalies instead of waiting until office reporting has been completed. Three case studies are presented: one relates to a search for a buried metal target located using a scanning magnetometer with simultaneous excavation, and two relate to searches for graves and buried wooden coffins

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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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