An Introduction to Forensic Geoscience

An Introduction to Forensic Geoscience

By: Elisa Bergslien (author)Hardback

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An Introduction to Forensic Geoscience provides fundamental training in geoscience as developed through the lens of its forensic applications. It incorporates a range of topics including geophysical methods of grave detection, the mineralogy of art, identification of microfossils, and comparison of soil trace evidence samples. Each topic is introduced using core concepts that are developed with increasing complexity in order to give readers an understanding of the underlying scientific principles involved and a taste of the wide range of possible forensic uses. A variety of detailed reference tables have been compiled for the text and each chapter contains lists of references to applicable textbooks and journal articles. Examples of real criminal cases are also presented in each chapter to make the connections between theory and real world application. The goal of this book is to give readers a familiarity with the wide range of ways in which geoscience principles and geological materials can be utilized forensically. Additional resources for this book can be found at:

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About Author

Elisa Bergslien is an Associate Professor at Buffalo State College. With a background in contaminant hydrogeology, she has been involved with the environmental law aspects of geology for years. In 2005, she begin teaching a Forensic Geoscience course as an elective for a well established Forensic Chemistry program and has been involved in research developing the science behind many of the assumptions used in forensic trace evidence examination. She is currently serving as the Information Officer for the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Initiative on Forensic Geology.


List of Tables and Figures vii List of Color Plates xxv List of Cases xxviii Preface xxx Acknowledgments xxxii 1 A Brief History of Forensic Science and Crime Scene Basics 1 Scene of the Crime 14 Processing the Crime Scene 16 Types of Evidence 20 Further Reading 22 References 23 2 Minerals: The Basic Building Blocks of Geology 24 Mineralogical Fraud 24 Minerals 29 Types of Bonding 34 Mineral Groups 43 Properties of Minerals 46 Summary 62 Further Reading 62 References 62 3 Rocks: Storybooks of the Earth 63 The Rock Cycle 65 Properties of Rocks 67 Igneous Rocks 69 Sedimentary Rocks 78 Metamorphic Rocks 93 Summary 102 Further Reading 102 References 102 4 Maps: Getting a Sense of Place 103 Global Location Systems 104 Maps in the United Kingdom 115 The Global Positioning System 115 Maps 117 Remote Sensing and Other Resources 127 Summary 130 Further Reading 130 References 131 5 Sand: To See the World in a Grain of Sand 132 An Introduction to Sand 137 Characterizing Sand 139 Surface Features 152 Sample Collection 155 Sample Preparation 156 The Stereomicroscope 157 Forensic Examination of Sand 157 Common Minerals 159 Less Common Minerals 160 Opaque Minerals 160 Anthropogenic Materials 160 Summary 163 Further Reading 165 References 166 6 Gems and Gemstones: Those Most Precious of all Minerals 168 An Introduction to Gemstones 170 Crystal Forms 171 The Petrographic Microscope 175 Light and the Optical Properties of Minerals 177 The Forensic Identifi cation of Glass 182 More Optical Properties 187 Isotropic versus Anisotropic Minerals 191 Anisotropic Crystals 193 Other Important Properties of Gems and Gemstones 201 Identifying Gems and Gemstones 202 Organic Gemstones 216 Summary 218 Further Reading 218 References 218 7 Soil: Getting the Dirt on Crime 220 Introduction to Soils 223 Soil Horizons 223 Soil Origins 225 Phyllosilicates (Sheet Silicates) 227 Some Important Clay Minerals 231 Soil Classification 237 Soil Color 237 Soil Moisture 242 Particle Size 243 Sample Collection 245 Simplified Manual Dry Sieve Method for Particle Size Analysis 246 Soil Classification Schemes 249 Soil Survey Maps 251 USDA Textural Classification 252 The ASTM Unified Soil Classification System (USCS): D-2487 253 Scene Examination 256 Visual Examination of Soil Evidence 256 Examination Procedures for Soil Samples 257 An Introduction to X-ray Diffraction Spectrometry (XRD) 264 Interpreting a Diffraction Pattern 272 Summary 279 Further Reading 279 References 279 8 The Geology of Art 281 Geologic Media and Art Forgery 285 Mineral Pigments 287 Black Pigments 289 White Pigments 290 Earth Colors: Red Yellow Orange and Brown Pigments 295 Blue Pigments 298 Green Pigments 302 Collecting a Sample for Microscopic Examination (McCrone 1982) 305 Raman Spectroscopy 307 Chromatography 312 Inks 314 Summary 314 Further Reading 314 References 315 9 Fossils and Microfossils: Traces of Life 317 Geologic Time and Index Fossils 317 An Introduction to Fossils 322 A Brief Introduction to the Classification of Fossils 329 Invertebrate Paleontology 332 Micropaleontology 354 Collection and Treatment 358 Scanning Electron Microscope 368 Is It Legal to Take This Fossil? 378 Rare-earth Elements 379 Summary 379 References 380 10 Geology and People: Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Archeology 383 Locating Ground Disturbances 384 Search 385 Geophysical Tools 390 Magnetometry 390 Electrical Resistivity (ER) 400 Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) 408 Specialized EMI: Metal Detectors 411 Ground-penetrating Radar (GPR) 412 Search and Post-search Operations 423 Elemental and Mineralogical Analysis of Human Bone 424 Summary 428 Further Reading 428 References 428 11 Environmental Forensics: Tracking Pollution to its Source 431 Water: Our Most Precious Natural Resource 433 Surface Water 434 Clean Water Act 436 CERCLA and SARA 440 Groundwater 440 Contaminant Hydrogeology 448 Safe Drinking Water Act 450 Water-quality Measurements 450 Field Water-quality Measurements 452 Water Contamination 455 Analytical Techniques for Chemical Fingerprinting 462 Isotopes in the Environment 463 Summary 470 References 471 Index 472 Color Plates appear between pages 224 and 225 COMPANION WEBSITE This book has a companion website: with Figures and Tables from the book

Product Details

  • publication date: 13/04/2012
  • ISBN13: 9781118227954
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 514
  • ID: 9781118227954
  • weight: 1576
  • ISBN10: 1118227956

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