Molina, CM, Wisniewski, KD, Drake, J, Baena, A, Guatame, A and Pringle, JK (2019) Testing Application of Geographical Information Systems, Forensic Geomorphology and Electrical Resistivity Tomography to Investigate Clandestine Grave Sites in Colombia, South America. Journal of Forensic Sciences. ISSN 0022-1198

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Colombian forensic investigators required assistance locating clandestine burials of missing persons related to human right atrocities from 14 years ago. Geoscientific search methods were trialled, including a predictive spatial statistical model, using various input and database information, to select the most likely grave locations in difficult mountainous terrain. Ground work using forensic geomorphology, near-surface geophysics (ERT) and subsequent probing identified suspect burial positions. One site was in mountainous terrain and the other in former school grounds, both difficult to access and in poor weather conditions. In the mountainous area, a negative resistivity anomaly area was identified and intrusively investigated, found to be a buried rock. In school grounds, after MESP and intelligence was used to identify a burial site, surface depressions were identified, and ERT datasets collected over the highest priority depression; intrusive investigations discovered a hand-dug pit containing animal bones. This approach is suggested for Latin American searches.

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: mass burials, geoscience, missing persons, human rights, GIS, resistivity
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 10:56
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2020 01:30

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