Forensic Geomorphology

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Geomorphology plays a critical role in two areas of geoforensics: searching the land for surface or buried objects and sampling or imaging rural scenes of crime and control locations as evidence. Most of the associated geoscience disciplines have substantial bodies of work dedicated to their relevance in forensic investigations, yet geomorphology (specifically landforms, their mapping and evolution, soils and relationship to geology and biogeography) have had no such exposure. This is strange considering how fundamental to legal enquiries the location of a crime and its evolution are, as this article will demonstrate. This work aims to redress the balance by showing how geomorphology is featured in one of the earliest works on forensic science methods, and has continued to play a role in the sociology, archaeology, criminalistics and geoforensics of crime. The application geomorphology has in military/humanitarian geography and environmental/engineering forensics is briefly discussed as these are also regularly reviewed in courts of law
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
Early online date22 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2014


  • Forensic Science; Geoforensics; soils; landforms; crime; burials

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