Soil in criminal and environmental forensics : proceedings of the Soil Forensics Special, 6th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, the Hague
Forensic sciences Soils Conference papers and proceedings
Springer 2016EISBN 9783319331133
This book follows from the 6th triennial conference of the European Academy of Forensic Sciences (EAFS) in The Hague, where forensic practitioners and academic researchers met to present and discuss their work in soil forensics and to interact with the larger forensic community. Soils play a role in environmental forensics, where criminal and liable soil pollution is studied, and in criminal forensics, where soils are important as a source of trace evidence and as a place where human remains are buried and decay. At the conference multiple sessions were devoted to all of these topics. The contributions to this book are derived from these sessions and likewise show the extent and complex nature of this developing forensic expertise and its value for law enforcement. In soil forensics a multitude of scientific specializations, expertise and skills interplay: soil science, mineralogy, geology, geophysics, botany, ecology, palynology, archaeology, chemistry, spatial analysis, sampling and (geo)statistics - all of these and even more are relevant. Throughout this book examples are given of methodologies that are based on these sciences and used in soil forensics, such as GPR, GIS, examinations of minerals, pollen, microbial DNA, inorganic and organic materials, including material of anthropogenic origin, the use of databases, search-strategies for missing people and the study of decomposition processes in interaction with the environmental conditions of the burial site. Moreover the practice of soil forensics is depicted in its legal context, emphasizing the need for evidence to be suitable for court proceedings and the importance of co-operation, not only between scientists of different specializations but also between scientists and law enforcers, the latter beginning even before the examination of a crime scene. This book shows the broad field of soil forensics, emerging and solidifying in many countries all over the world, differing in some respects along with their legal systems, but ultimately sharing common grounds.