Geoforensic search to crime scene: remote sensing, geophysics, and dogs

Alastair Ruffell*, Benjamin Rocke, Neil Powell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


In the absence of surface indications of burial sites, law enforcement or humanitarian organizations are faced with the difficult task of focusing large-scale ground searches to a manageable excavation area. A geoforensic-based survey may exclude parts of the landscape for reasons such as diggability or viewshed analysis but leave areas still too large for invasive exploration. This work examines how drone-based remote sensing, geophysics, and search dogs may be combined to narrow such searches. Here, we ask the reader to consider two examples where forensic geomorphology and land use provided a range of possible burial locations. Following this is a multi-proxy approach to similar dilemma, with a search-to-scene case study using remote sensing (drone photography), geophysics, ground probes, and search dogs. This approach is not presented as a definitive guide, but serves as an example of the conjunctive use of well-studied methods to approach a common problem in geoforensics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1379-1385
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number4
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Genetics
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Geoforensic search to crime scene: remote sensing, geophysics, and dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this