Remote Sensing Technology in Forensic Investigations provides a basic understanding of concepts involved in the use of basic geophysical surveying, metal detectors, magnetics, electromagnetics and ground penetrating radar in police and forensic investigations. Such technology can be vital in locating clandestine, buried evidence which is often concealed in the subsurface underground.
Crime scene investigation and evidence collection entails locating, identifying, collecting, and cataloging. Such physical evidence searches are time consuming and can often lead to searches that require excavations, which in itself that can destroy evidence. The noninvasive, nondestructive methods outlined in this book can both reduce the time spent on searches and excavations, thereby increasing the probability of locating vital physical evidence. As such, the application of remote sensing methods has gained increased acceptance, and seen increased usage, by investigators.
Remote sensing methods are based on making indirect measurements of the surface of and within the earth. The resulting measurement information can be presented in either an imaging format— such as in aerial photography—or a non-imaging format, such as in a profile or contour map. These measurements can be interpreted to identify and characterize contrasts due to differences in physical and natural properties of the materials being studied. This can include physical evidence, remains, and clandestine graves.
This book will serve as a handy introductory primer to the technology, techniques, and application of such techniques. Throughout, numerous references and additional resources are provided for those investigators, forensic anthropology, and police professionals who want further information on the technology’s usage for investigative purposes.
Table of Contents
2. Overview of Modern Geophysical Methods
3. Pre-Survey Planning and Post-Survey Reporting Requirements
4. Magnetic Surveying
5. Electromagnetic Surveying
6. Ground Penetrating Radar Surveying
7. Metal Detector Surveying
9. Marine Geophysical Methods
10. Airborne Geophysical Methods
11. Quality Control
12. Concluding Remarks: The Ideal Survey
Appendix A. Glossary
Appendix B. Selected References
Clark Davenport's career spans 37 years of planning, managing, and performing remote-sensing surveys for criminal, environmental, groundwater, geotechnical, mining, and archaeological investigations on six continents. Since 1986 he has pioneered the use of remote sensing in criminal investigations and has assisted on investigations in more than 25 states and in 6 countries. Davenport is a recognized expert in the utilization of remote sensing and geophysical techniques to locate clandestine graves and hidden evidence. He has testified in criminal cases as to the applicability of these techniques. He is one of the founding members of NecroSearch International, and is an active participant in on-going applied research studying physical and chemical changes that occur after interment of a body. Since 1987, Davenport has served as a consultant to law-enforcement agencies including the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Guatemalan Forensic Foundation, and the New South Wales Police. He is a past instructor at the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy, and is an invited instructor at the FBI Academy. Davenport is also a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, a member of ASLET and a faculty affiliate, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University. He has a degree in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (1964) and an AS in Criminal Justice (1997).