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Pirrie D.,Helford Geoscience LLP | Donnelly L.,IUGS | Rollinson G.K.,University of Exeter | Butcher A.R.,FEI Natural Resources | And 2 more authors.
Geology Today | Year: 2013

In July 2013 the International School Science Fair (ISSF) was hosted by Camborne Science and International Academy, Cornwall, UK. This meeting brings young talented scientists together from around the world to participate in workshops and activities highlighting current scientific developments. As part of ISSF 2013, a workshop on forensic geology was delivered to some of the international participants. This included the preparation of a map to show the mineralogical composition of the soils of the participating schools. The soil mineralogy was determined using automated mineral analysis based on scanning electron microscopy. In addition there were workshops on the recovery of geological trace evidence in a forensic context and the theory and practice of carrying out a geophysical search for hidden items. Data generated as part of this workshop are available to download from the International Union of Geological Sciences, Initiative on Forensic Geology website (http://www.forensicgeologyinternational.com). © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, The Geologists' Association & The Geological Society of London.

In 2009 a hoard of gold and silver objects was found in a ploughed field in Staffordshire, by a member of the public using a metal detector. The site was subjected to a detailed archaeologicalexcavation and approximately 3940 items in total were found. Archaeologists interpreted the find as belonging to the Anglo Saxon age (seventh century AD) and probably comprising themilitary hilts and fixings from swords, helmets, shield, clothing and possibly books, chests andwhat is now thought to be a cross from the cover of a bible. Archaeologists considered that allhoard-related material that was recoverable at that time had been retrieved from the excavation. To confirm this, a forensic geology and police search was commissioned. This search provideda high level of assurance and was able to confirm that the original archaeological dig was likely to have found all/most of the buried gold that was reasonably and practicably recoverable atthat time and buried in the top soil to a depth of 280 mm. In 2012, further items of interest werefound in this field. These may have been buried at deeper levels or beyond the original excavation and were possibly brought to the surface by ploughing. © The Geological Society of London 2013.

Lambert I.,IUGS | Lambert I.,Geoscience Australia | Oberhaensli R.,IUGS | Oberhaensli R.,University of Potsdam
Episodes | Year: 2014

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) is evaluating whether there are additional geoscientific activities that would be beneficial in helping mitigate the impacts of tsunami. Public concerns about poor decisions and inaction, and advances in computing power and data mining call for new scientific approaches. Three fundamental requirements for mitigating impacts of natural hazards are defined. These are: (1) improvement of process-oriented understanding, (2) adequate monitoring and optimal use of data, and (3) generation of advice based on scientific, technical and socio-economic expertise. International leadership/coordination is also important. To increase the capacity to predict and mitigate the impacts of tsunami and other natural hazards a broad consensus is needed. The main needs include the integration of systematic geological inputs - identifying and studying paleo-tsunami deposits for all subduction zones; optimising coverage and coordination of geodetic and seismic monitoring networks; underpinning decision making at national and international scales by developing appropriate mechanisms for gathering, managing and communicating authoritative scientific and technical advice information; international leadership for coordination and authoritative statements of best approaches. All these suggestions are reflected in the Sendai Agreement, the collective views of the experts at the International Workshop on Natural Hazards, presented later in this volume.

Donnelly L.,IUGS | Harrison M.,Australian Federal Police | Harrison M.,University of Canberra
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2013

The objective of this paper is to draw attention to the use of air photographs, diggability surveys and the RAG (Red-Amber-Green) prioritization system during police ground searches for burials. The acquisition, analysis and interpretation of aerial imagery by a geologist may provide a useful reconnaissance technique to help delineate and prioritize search areas. A diggability survey may provide information on the ease and efficiency with which the ground may be dug and reinstated by an offender. This is influenced by the depth of the soils, the geology, groundwater, obstructions, the digging implements used, the ability of the offender, the nature of item being buried and the time frames involved. The results of a diggability survey may conveniently be presented as a RAG, map which can help in prioritizing the search. The RAG system appears to have been used independently by geologists, police/law enforcement and the military, and has evolved differently and independently since the early part of the 1900s. These methods have been applied to law enforcement searches for graves and other buried objects as demonstrated by operational case examples. © The Geological Society of London 2013.

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