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Quartz grain surface textures of soils and sediments from Canberra, Australia: a forensic reconstruction tool

Morgan, RM; Robertson, J; Lennard, C; Hubbard, K; Bull, PA; (2010) Quartz grain surface textures of soils and sediments from Canberra, Australia: a forensic reconstruction tool. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences , 42 (3) pp. 169-179. 10.1080/00450610903258110. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper provides our first forensic quartz grain surface texture analysis of soils from the southern hemisphere. Sediment and soil samples were collected from a simulated crime reconstruction in the environs of Canberra, Australia, which comprised a murder site, an alibi site and a body deposition site. Following the successful application of quartz grain surface texture analysis from many case locations in England1 and more recently in Switzerland2, this paper examines the potential for the application of this technique from areas around Canberra. The very specific geological history of the Australian continent provides new challenges for forensic reconstruction techniques. The quartz grain surface textural analysis undertaken indicates that clear differences between the three locations can be identified, enabling the successful differentiation of samples taken from the three distinct sites. This provides a means of undertaking exclusionary analysis and disproving an alibi location as being a possible source for material derived from the murder site or the body deposition site. These findings indicate that this form of geoforensic analysis has great potential for crime scene investigation of mixed-source physical trace geoforensic evidence in Australia. It also has the potential to provide an independent line of enquiry to other well established geoforensic techniques.

Type: Article
Title: Quartz grain surface textures of soils and sediments from Canberra, Australia: a forensic reconstruction tool
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00450610903258110
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00450610903258110
Language: English
Additional information: This is an electronic version of an article published in: Morgan, RM and Robertson, J and Lennard, C and Hubbard, K and Bull, PA (2010) Quartz grain surface textures of soils and sediments from Canberra, Australia: a forensic reconstruction tool. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences , 42 (3) pp. 169-179. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0045-0618&date=2010&volume=42&issue=3&spage=169
Keywords: quartz grain surface textures, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), forensic geoscience, Canberra, soil, PALYNOLOGY, CRIME
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/143251
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