2021-07-07

Research says soil comparative analysis can drastically reduce criminal search areas

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Research says soil comparative analysis can drastically reduce criminal search areas

In this study, from Australian Earth Science Research The team of scientists started with an area of ​​260 square kilometers (100.4 square miles) in North Canberra, and then divided it into 1 x 1 km (0.6 mile) squares. Extract a soil sample from each square and analyze its unique characteristics, such as mineral and organic content.

Research says soil comparative analysis can drastically reduce criminal search areas(1)

Sample from three different squares It was also handed over to another group of scientists from the Australian Geoscience Association who were only told that the samples came from somewhere in the gridded area. Using techniques such as X-ray fluorescence, magnetic induction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry, these researchers began to compare them with previously analyzed samples from squares of known locations. Although none of these three blind samples exactly match a particular grid square, it is certain that they must not match approximately 60% of the squares.

Research says soil comparative analysis can drastically reduce criminal search areas(2)

Chief Scientist Dr. Patrice de Caritat said “Most of the work of forensics is about exclusion, so being able to exclude 60% of an area is a huge contribution to successfully locating a sample. You can reduce the time, risk and investment of ongoing investigations. The more parameters we look at , The system is more accurate.”

Scientists now hope that in real-world applications, the technology can incorporate information from existing soil databases, which have been developed for mining, agriculture, and urban development.

Research says soil comparative analysis can drastically reduce criminal search areas(3)

Recent papers on this research Published in the “Journal of Forensic Science”.