Pringle, JK, Jervis, JR, Roberts, D, Dick, HC, Wisniewski, KD, Cassidy, NJ and Cassella, JP (2016) Long-term geophysical monitoring of simulated clandestine graves using electrical and Ground Penetrating Radar methods: 4-6 years after burial. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 61 (2). pp. 309-321. ISSN 1556-4029

[thumbnail of JOFS-14-567.R1.pdf]
JOFS-14-567.R1.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (6MB) | Preview


This ongoing monitoring study provides forensic search teams with systematic geophysical data over simulated clandestine graves for comparison to active cases. Simulated ‘wrapped’, ‘naked’ and ‘control’ burials were created. Multiple geophysical surveys were collected over six-years, here showing data from four to six years after burial. Electrical resistivity (twin electrode and ERI), multi-frequency GPR, grave and background soilwater were collected. Resistivity surveys revealed the naked burial had low-resistivity anomalies up to year four but then difficult to image, whereas the wrapped burial had consistent large high-resistivity anomalies. GPR 110-900 MHz frequency surveys showed the wrapped burial could be detected throughout, but the naked burial was either not detectable or poorly resolved. 225 MHz frequency GPR data were optimal. Soil water analyses showed decreasing (year four-five) to background (year six) conductivity values. Results suggest both resistivity and GPR surveying if burial style unknown, with winter to spring surveys optimal and increasingly important as time increases.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: forensic science, forensic geophysics, clandestine grave, monitoring, electrical resistivity, ground penetrating radar, conductivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 10:49
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2018 08:38

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item