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Soil as a Tool of Revelation in Forensic Science: A Review


Soil contains diverse and complex natural elements having physical, chemical, mineralogical and biological components. Soil being a transferable physical component (it can be transferred from one location to another with the help of shoes, tires, clothes and tools etc.), act as a tool of forensic investigation to correlate specific crime scene with criminal suspects. A variety of techniques and combination of methods can be used to discriminate soil of different geographical locations. Present review, highlighted various analytical techniques (ATR-FTIR, pyGC-MS and SEM-EDX, ICP-MS/OES and XRD) for soil analysis (colour comparison, texture, particle size determination, density gradient methods and organic matter) and discussed the some of the famous cases solved with soil trace evidence. The objective of the present study is to provide an overview of the importance of soil as physical evidence in forensic science based on literature analysis that will help the forensic scientists and researchers to select the appropriate methods to discriminate the different soil samples. This article, review various analytical techniques used to differentiate the soils and provide compiled information regarding soil as trace evidence in order to help academicians, researchers and forensic soil scientists.

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Article information

28 Aug 2020
25 Sep 2020
First published
25 Sep 2020

Anal. Methods, 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type
Tutorial Review

Soil as a Tool of Revelation in Forensic Science: A Review

P. Sangwan, T. Nain, K. Singal, N. Hooda and N. Sharma, Anal. Methods, 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0AY01634A

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