Soil in Criminal and Environmental Forensics

Proceedings of the Soil Forensics Special, 6th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, The Hague

  • Henk Kars
  • Lida van den Eijkel

Part of the Soil Forensics book series (SOFO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Criminal Soil Forensics: The Examination of Traces and Legal Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Enrique Santillana, Jose C. Cordero, Francisco Alamilla
      Pages 45-60
    3. Stefan Uitdehaag, Frederike Quaak, Irene Kuiper
      Pages 61-69
    4. Jisook Min, Kiwook Kim, Sangcheol Heo, Yurim Jang
      Pages 71-105
    5. Brenda Woods, Chris Lennard, K. Paul Kirkbride, James Robertson
      Pages 107-120
  3. Environmental Soil Forensics: Tools for Spatial and Chemical Analysis

  4. Searches: Cooperation, Strategies and Techniques

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 181-181
    2. P. M. Barone, C. Ferrara, E. Pettinelli, A. Fazzari
      Pages 213-227
    3. Martien H. F. Graumans, Tim C. W. van der Heijden, Aleksandra Kosinska, Maarten J. Blom, Ben M. de Rooij
      Pages 229-240
  5. Burial Sites: Decomposition and Degradation Processes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 241-241
    2. Heloise A. Breton, Andrea E. Kirkwood, David O. Carter, Shari L. Forbes
      Pages 243-262
    3. Rebecca J. Camplin, Damian Evans, Iain D. Green
      Pages 263-273
    4. Sonja Stadler, Jean-François Focant, Shari L. Forbes
      Pages 297-316
    5. Pierre-Hugues Stefanuto, Jean-François Focant
      Pages 317-329
    6. C. Sullivan, B. H. Stuart, P. S. Thomas
      Pages 331-341
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 343-346

About these proceedings


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.


criminology environmental forensics soil analysis forensic geophysics decomposition forensice palynology human remains carcasses soil fauna

Editors and affiliations

  • Henk Kars
    • 1
  • Lida van den Eijkel
    • 2
  1. 1.Fac. of Earth and Life SciencesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Netherlands Forensic InstituteThe HagueThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-33113-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-33115-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2214-4293
  • Series Online ISSN 2214-4315
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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