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High Performance Liquid Chromatography as a valuable tool for geoforensic soil analysis

McCulloch, G; Morgan, RM; Bull, PA; (2017) High Performance Liquid Chromatography as a valuable tool for geoforensic soil analysis. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences , 49 (4) pp. 421-448. 10.1080/00450618.2016.1194474. Green open access

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Abstract

A key issue for geoforensic analysis is the ability to discriminate between geographical locations of close proximity, often with similar underlying geology. This paper addresses the lack of empirical research into the non-mineral components of sediment samples and presents the development of a method of sediment sample characterisation by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) utilising the organic components of the sample. A sample preparation method and set of instrument parameters were developed such that the cost of the analysis could be reduced, efficiency increased and the sample amount required for analysis reduced fourfold. The re-developed method allows samples collected from different locations within the same forensically relevant site to be accurately discriminated in this study by both visual examination of the chromatography and the use of multivariate statistics. The results of the HPLC analysis were compared with those obtained by quartz grain surface texture analysis, and HPLC was found to offer better discrimination between the samples in this instance. The results of this study suggest that HPLC has the potential to offer an accurate and practical method of comparing soil samples based on characteristics that are independent of, and therefore complementary to, traditional mineralogical-based geoforensic analyses.

Type: Article
Title: High Performance Liquid Chromatography as a valuable tool for geoforensic soil analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00450618.2016.1194474
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2016.1194474
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1503782
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