Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics

  • Karl Ritz
  • Lorna Dawson
  • David Miller

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xl
  2. Concepts

  3. Evidence

    1. Isabel Fernandes, Maarten A. T. M. Broekmans, Fernando Noronha
      Pages 163-180
    2. Geoforensics

      1. Mark Harrison, Laurance J. Donnelly
        Pages 197-219
      2. Antoinette Keaney, Alastair Ruffell, Jennifer McKinley
        Pages 221-237
      3. Ian Hanson, Jessica Djohari, Jennifer Orr, Patricia Furphy, Claire Hodgson, Georgina Cox et al.
        Pages 239-251
      4. Ruth M. Morgan, Jeanne Freudiger-Bonzon, Katharine H. Nichols, Thomas Jellis, Sarah Dunkerley, Przemyslaw Zelazowski et al.
        Pages 253-269
      5. John R. Jervis, Jamie K. Pringle, John P. Cassella, George Tuckwell
        Pages 271-284
      6. Jennifer McKinley, Alastair Ruffell, Mark Harrison, Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, Helen Kemp, Conor Graham et al.
        Pages 285-302
      7. Sabine Fiedler, Jochen Berger, Karl Stahr, Matthias Graw
        Pages 303-314
  4. Taphonomy

    1. Mark Tibbett, David O. Carter
      Pages 317-331
    2. Robert C. Janaway, Andrew S. Wilson, Gerardo Carpio Díaz, Sonia Guillen
      Pages 341-356
    3. Kathryn L. Stokes, Shari L. Forbes, Laura A. Benninger, David O. Carter, Mark Tibbett
      Pages 357-377
    4. Rachel A. Parkinson, Kerith-Rae Dias, Jacqui Horswell, Paul Greenwood, Natasha Banning, Mark Tibbett et al.
      Pages 379-394
  5. Technology

    1. Duncan Pirrie, Matthew R. Power, Gavyn K. Rollinson, Patricia E. J. Wiltshire, Julia Newberry, Holly E. Campbell
      Pages 411-430
    2. Brooke A. Weinger, John A. Reffner, Peter R. De Forest
      Pages 431-443
    3. Robert W. Mayes, Lynne M. Macdonald, Jasmine M. Ross, Lorna A. Dawson
      Pages 463-476
    4. Pat Pollard, Morgan Adams, Peter K. J. Robertson, Konstantinos Christidis, Simon Officer, Gopala R. Prabhu et al.
      Pages 477-490
  6. Postscript

    1. A. David Barclay, Lorna A. Dawson, Laurance J. Donnelly, David R. Miller, Karl Ritz
      Pages 501-513
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 515-519

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.


AgroMicro Applied geoscience Arten Criminal Forensics Environmental Forensics Forensic Science Sediment Soil Science ecology soil

Editors and affiliations

  • Karl Ritz
    • 1
  • Lorna Dawson
    • 2
  • David Miller
    • 2
  1. 1.National Soil Resources Institute Natural Resources DepartmentSchool of Applied Sciences Cranfi eld UniversityCranfieldUK
  2. 2.The Macaulay InstituteCraigiebucklerUK

Bibliographic information