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IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology



Bergslien, E.T., Bush M. A. and Bush, P.J. (2008) Identification of cremains using x-ray diffraction spectroscopy and a comparison to trace element analysis, Forensic Science International, 175(2), 218 – 226. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.07.004.

Ubelaker, D. H., Ward, D. C., Braz, V. S., and Stewart, J. (2002) The use of SEM/EDX analysis to distinguish dental and osseus tissue from other materials. Journal of Forensic Sciences 47(5): 940–943.


Armstrong, H. A. and Brasier, M. D. (2005) Microfossils. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA.

Bryant, V. M. and Jones, G. D. (2006) Forensic palynology: Current status of a rarely used technique in the United States of America. Forensic Science International 163: 183–97.

Clarkson, E. N. K. (1998) Invertebrate Paleontology and Evolution, 4th edn. Blackwell Science, Malden, MA.

France, D. L. (2008) Human and Nonhuman Bone Identification: A color atlas. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

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Hartley, B. (1996) An Atlas of British Diatoms. Biopress Ltd, Bristol.

Horrocks, M. (2004) Sub-sampling and preparing forensic samples for pollen analysis. Journal of Forensic Sciences 49(5): 1–4.

Krstic, S., Duma, A., Janevska, B., Levkov, Z. et al. (2002) Diatoms in forensic expertise of drowning: A Macedonian experience. Forensic Science International 127: 198–203.

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Marks, M. K. (1995) William M. Bass and the development of forensic anthropology in Tennessee. Journal of Forensic Sciences 40(5): 741–50.

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Mildenhall, D. C. (2006) Hypericum pollen determines the presence of burglars at the scene of a crime: An example of forensic palynology. Forensic Science International 163: 231–35.

Owsley, D. W. and R. W. Mann (1990) Medicolegal case involving a bear paw. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 80(11): 623–5.

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Seilacher, A. (2007) Trace Fossil Analysis. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York.

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Bottrell, M. C. (2009) Forensic glass comparison: Background information used in data interpretation. Forensic Science Communications 11(2), available online at

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Donnelly, L. J. 2020. The Management and Mitigation of Risks Associated with Substitution, Adulteration, Fraud and Fakery in Minerals, Mining and Metals. 36th International Congress on Forensic Geology, Delhi, India, 2-8 March, 2020, Session on Forensic Geology (pending).

Donnelly, L. J. 2019. Geoforensic methods for countering fraud and theft in the minerals, metals and mining industry. 4th Iberoamerican Seminar on Forensic Geology, in association with the ‘Reunion Anual de la Unión Geofisica Mexicana, (RAUGM)’, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Sheraton Buganvilias Hotel, 28 October to 1 November 2019.

Donnelly, L.J., Pirrie, D. & Ruffell, A. 2018. The role of forensic geology in the investigation and mitigation of fraud, fakery and theft, in the mining, minerals & metals industry. Environmental & Criminal Forensics. The Geological Society of London, Forensic Geoscience Group, Session 3: Trace Evidence, Wednesday 5 December 2018, Geological Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, abstract only.

Donnelly, L. J. 2008. Communication in geology: A personal perspective and lessons from volcanic, mining, exploration, geotechnical, police and geoforensic investigations. In: Livermann, D.G.E., Pereira, C.P & marker, B. (eds) Communicating Environmental Geoscience. Geological Society, London, Special Publication, 305, 107- 121.

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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2016. Due diligence in Colombia’s gold supply chain: Overview.

Perelygin, A., Kuchkin, A., Kharkov, N. & Moskvina, T. 2008. Criminalistic identification of PGM-containing products of mining and metallurgical companies. Forensic Science International, 174, 12-15.

Roberts, R.J., Dixon, R.D. & Merkle, R.K.W. 2016. Distinguishing between legally and illegally produced gold in South Africa. Journal of Forensic Science, 61, S230-S235.

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In 2019, the final draft of, ‘Forensic Soil Science and Geology’ was submitted to the Geological Society of London. Publication is expected to be in 2021, as a ‘Special Publication’ series. Some of the papers are available online at the following link:

The application of forensic geology to investigate the substitution of zinc ingots between China and Brazil Fábio Augusto da Silva Salvador, Matheus Pereira Nogueira e Silva, Ricardo de Oliveira Mascarenhas and Anelize Manuela Bahniuk Rumbelsperger) Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 4 November 2019

Analysis of soil following a police-led open area search and the recovery of a cold-case homicide grave L. J. Donnelly, J. Cassella, D. Pirrie, L. Dawson, G. Blom, A. Davidson, P. Arnold, M. Harrison and C. Hope Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 29 October 2019

Automated mineralogical profiling of soils as an indicator of local bedrock lithology: a tool for predictive forensic geolocation Duncan Pirrie, Daniel E. Crean, Allan J. Pidduck, Timothy M. Nicholls, Roy P. Awbery and Robin K. Shail Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 25 October 2019

The forensic comparison of trace amounts of soil on a pyjama top with hypersulphidic subaqueous soil from a river as evidence in a homicide cold case Robert W. Fitzpatrick and Mark D. Raven Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 28 August 2019,

Trace evidence examination using laboratory and synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques Mark D. Raven, Robert W. Fitzpatrick and Peter G. Self Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 28 August 2019

Evaluation of forensic soil traces from a crime scene: robbery of a safety deposit box in Brazil S. A. Testoni, V. F. Melo, L. A. Dawson, F. A. S. Salvador and L. V. Prandel Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 28 August 2019

Comparison of geophysical and botanical results in simulated clandestine graves in rural and tropical environments in Colombia, South America Carlos Martin Molina and Jamie K. Pringle Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 22 August 2019

The forensic application of ground-penetrating radar, Tekoha Jevy indigenous village, Paraná, Brazil Rafael E. Canata, Fábio A. S. Salvador, Welitom R. Borges, Francisco J. F. Ferreira, Eduardo X. Seimetz, Ivan Pinto and Eduardo O. Barros Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 22 August 2019,

A case study in forensic soil examination from China Hongling Guo, Ping Wang, Can Hu, Jun Zhu, XueYing Yang, Yangke Quan, HongCheng Mei and JinFeng Li Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 30 July 2019

The importance of forensic soil science and geology being connected to mainstream forensic science Hilton Kobus and James Robertson Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 30 July 2019,

Dealing with different forensic targets: geoscientists at crime scenes P. M. Barone and R. M. Di Maggio Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 23 July 2019

Plant wax compounds and soil microbial DNA profiles to ascertain urban land use type L. A. Dawson, L. M. Macdonald and K. Ritz Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 17 July 2019

Portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry of earth materials: considerations for forensic analysis Elisa Bergslien Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 11 July 2019

The desktop study – an essential element of geoforensic search: homicide and environmental cases (west Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK) Alastair Ruffell and Lorraine Barry Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 11 July 2019

Geoforensics in Italy: education and research standards R. M. Di Maggio and P. M. Barone Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 9 July 2019

Soil DNA: advances in DNA technology offers a powerful new tool for forensic science Jennifer M. Young, Denice Higgins and Jeremy J. Austin Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 4 July 2019

Geographical Information Science (GIS), spatial sampling and sediment variability examined using a case of manslaughter Jennifer McKinley and Alastair Ruffell Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 17 June 2019

Identifying the source of illicit gold from South America Roger D. Dixon and Roland K. W. Merkle Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 492, 14 June 2019