Lacustrine flow (divers, side scan sonar, hydrogeology, water penetrating radar) used to understand the location of a drowned person

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Abstract

An unusual application of hydrological understanding to a police search is described. The lacustrine search for a missing person provided reports of bottom-water currents in the lake and contradictory indications from cadaver dogs. A hydrological model of the area was developed using pre-existing information from side scan sonar, a desktop hydrogeological study and deployment of water penetrating radar (WPR). These provided a hydrological theory for the initial search involving subaqueous groundwater flow, focused on an area of bedrock surrounded by sediment, on the lake floor. The work shows the value a hydrological explanation has to a police search operation (equally to search and rescue). With hindsight, the desktop study should have preceded the search, allowing better understanding of water conditions. The ultimate reason for lacustrine flow in this location is still not proven, but the hydrological model explained the problems encountered in the initial search.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-168
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume513
Early online date28 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2014

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