Automated SEM-EDS (QEMSCAN®) mineral analysis in forensic soil investigations: Testing instrumental reproducibility

  • Pirrie D
  • Power M
  • Rollinson G
 et al. 
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Abstract

The complex mix of organic and inorganic components present in urban and rural soils and sediments potentially enable them to provide highly distinctive trace evidence in both criminal and environmental forensic investigations. Organic components might include macroscopic or microscopic plants and animals, pollen, spores, marker molecules, etc. Inorganic components comprise naturally derived minerals, mineralloids and man-made materials which may also have been manu-factured from mineral components. Ideally, in any forensic investigation there is a need to gather as much data as possible from a sample but this will be constrained by a range of factors, commonly the most significant of which is sample size. Indeed, there are a very wide range of analytical approaches possible, and a range of parameters that can be measured in the examination of the inorganic components present in a soil or sediment. These may include bulk colour, particle size distribution, pH, bulk chemistry, mineralogy, mineral chemistry, isotope geochemistry, micropalaeontology K. Ritz et al. (eds.), Criminal and Environmental Soil Forensics

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