A Brief Introduction to Forensic Geosourcing

Palenik, S. (2012) A Brief Introduction to Forensic Geosourcing. 6th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, The Hague, Netherlands..

Presented on: 8/11/2012

The great majority of forensic soil comparisons are conducted for the purpose of comparing a questioned sample back to its suspected source for proof at trial. A far more difficult as well as intellectually and scientifically challenging task is to determine the source of an unknown soil or sediment. This type of examination has direct applicability to both criminal and terrorist investigations since at the least it can provide a physical description of the location and at the best permit the actual location to be discovered.

This presentation will describe some of the properties of dust and soil that lend themselves to this type of study and the analytical methods by which they can be exploited for this purpose. Special attention will be paid to the balance between the utilization of first principles and reference materials in the interpretation of the analytical results. The talk will conclude with examples from actual casework that demonstrate the results that can be obtained.


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