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Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics

Edited By: Karl Ritz, Lorna Dawson and David Miller

520 pages, Col & b/w figs


Hardback | Dec 2008 | #178950 | ISBN-13: 9781402092039
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £222.50 $272/€250 approx

About this book

Soils have important roles to play in criminal and environmental forensic science. Since the initial concept of using soil in forensic investigations was mooted by Conan Doyle in his "Sherlock Holmes" stories prior to real-world applications, this branch of forensic science has become increasingly sophisticated and broad. New techniques in chemical, physical, biological, ecological and spatial analysis, coupled with informatics, are being applied to reducing areas of search by investigators, site identification, site comparison and measurement for the eventual use as evidence in court.

Soils can provide intelligence, in assisting the determination of the provenance of samples from artifacts, victims or suspects, enabling their linkage to locations or other evidence. They also modulate change in surface or buried cadavers and hence affect the ability to estimate post-mortem or post-burial intervals, and locate clandestine graves.

This interdisciplinary volume explores the conceptual and practical interplay of soil and geoforensics across the scientific, investigative and legal fields. Supported by reviews, case-studies from across the world, and reports of original research, it demonstrates the increasing convergence of a wide range of knowledge. It covers conceptual issues, evidence (from recovery to use in court), geoforensics, taphonomy, as well as leading-edge technologies. The application of the resultant soil forensics toolbox is leading to significant advances in improving crime detection, and environmental and national security.

From the reviews: "This is a fine volume with an excellent collection of papers. It should be of interest to anyone looking for a series of papers that provide insight into where the field of forensic soil science is today and where it might be tomorrow. The index is very useful. The illustrations are well done and useful; the color photos are excellent. References in the individual papers are up to date, and the abstracts are universally well written." (Ray Murray, Vadose Zone Journal, Vol. 9 (1), February, 2010)


Acknowledgements; Contributors; Introduction; Foreword. C. Alcock.CONCEPTS1. "Soils ain't soils". Context and issues facing soil scientists in a forensic world, J. Robertson; 2. Expert scientific evidence in court: the legal considerations, D.P. Auchie; 3. Some thoughts on the role of probabilistic reasoning in the evaluation of evidence, C.G.G. Aitken; 4. Microbial community profiling for the characterization of soil evidence: forensic considerations, G.F. Sensabaugh; 5. The current status of forensic soil examination in the Russian Federation, O. Gradusova and E. Nesterina; 6. Characterisation and discrimination of urban soils: Preliminary results from The Soil Forensics University Network, A. Morrisson, S. McColl, L.A. Dawson and M. Brewer; 7. Environmental considerations for common burial site selection after pandemic events, A. Williams, T. Temple, S.J.T. Pollard, R.M. Jones and K. Ritz.EVIDENCE8. A systematic approach to soil forensics: criminal case studies involving transference from crime scene to forensic evidence, R.W. Fitzpatrick, M.D. Raven and S.T. Forrester; 9. Forensic ecology, botany, and palynology: some aspects of their role in criminal investigation, P.E.J. Wiltshire; 10. Sediment and soil environmental forensics: what do we know? S. Mudge; 11. Petrography and geochemical analysis for the forensic assessment of concrete damage, I. Fernandes, M.A.T.M. Broekmans and F. Noronha; 12. Tracing soil and groundwater pollution with electromagnetic profiling and geo-electrical investigations, K. Martens and K. Walraevens.GEOFORENSICS13. Locating concealed homicide victims: developing the role of geoforensics, M. Harrison and L.J. Donnelly; 14. Geological trace evidence: forensic and legal perspectives, A. Keaney, A. Ruffell and J. McKinley; 15. New observations on the interactions between evidence and the upper horizons of the soil, I. Hanson, J. Djohari, J. Orr, P. Furphy, C. Hodgson, G. Cox and G. Broadbridge; 16. The geoforensic analysis of soils from footwear, R.M. Morgan, J. Freudiger-Bonzon, K.H. Nichols, T. Jellis, S. Dunkerley, P. Zelazowski and P.A. Bull; 17. Using soil and groundwater data to understand resistance surveys over a simulated clandestine grave, J.R. Jervis, J.K. Pringle, J.P. Cassella and G. Tuckwell; 18. Spatial thinking in search methodology: a case study of the 'No body murder enquiry', West of Ireland, J. McKinley, A. Ruffell, M. Harrison, W. Meier-Augenstein, H. Kemp, C. Graham and L. Barry; 19. Localisation of a mass grave from the Nazi era: a case study, S. Fiedler, J. Berger, K. Stahr and M. Graw.TAPHONOMY20. Research in forensic taphonomy: a soil-based perspective, M. Tibbett and D.O. Carter; 21. Can temperature affect the release of ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen in gravesoil following the burial of a mammalian (Rattus rattus) cadaver? D.O. Carter, D. Yellowlees and M. Tibbett; 22. Taphonomic changes to the buried body in arid environments: an experimental case study in Peru, R.C. Janaway, A.S. Wilson, G.C. Diaz and S. Guillen; 23. Decomposition studies using animal models in contrasting environments: evidence from temporal changes in soil chemistry and microbial activity, K.L. Stokes, S.L. Forbes, L.A. Benninger, D.O. Carter and M. Tibbett; 24. Microbial community analysis of human decomposition on soil, R.A. Parkinson, K.-R. Dias, J. Horswell, P. Greenwood, N. Banning, M. Tibbett and A.A. Vass;TECHNOLOGY25. Analysis of soils in a forensic context: comparison of some current and future options, G.S. Walker; 26. Automated SEM-EDS (QEMSCAN(R)) mineral analysis in forensic soil investigations: testing instrumental reproducibility, D. Pirrie, M.R. Power, G.K. Rollinson, P.E.J. Wiltshire, J. Newberry and H.E. Campbell; 27. Rapid, reliable and reviewable mineral identification with infrared microprobe analysis, B.A. Weinger, J.A. Reffner and P.R. DeForest; 28. Preservation and analysis of three-dimensional footwear evidence in soils: the application of optical laser scanning, M.R. Bennett, D. Huddart and S. Gonzalez; 29. Discrimination of domestic garden soils using plant wax compounds as markers, R.W. Mayes, L.M. Macdonald, J. Ross and L.A. Dawson; 30. Environmental forensic investigations: the potential use of a novel heavy metal sensor and novel taggants, P. Pollard, M. Adams, P.K.J. Robertson, K. Christidis, S. Officer, G.R. Prabhu, K. Gow and A. Morrisson; 31. Separation and concentration of trace evidence from soils using a hydropneumatic elutriation Trace Evidence Concentrator (TEC), A.J.M. Smucker and J. Siegel.POSTSCRIPT32. Soils in forensic science: underground meets underworld, A.D. Barclay, L.A. Dawson, L.J. Donnelly, D.R. Miller and K. Ritz.Index

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