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Proceedings Paper

Detection of forensic burials in Florida using GPR
Author(s): John J. Schultz; Anthony B. Falsetti; M. Collins; Steven Koppenjan; Michael W. Warren
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Paper Abstract

This study tested the applicability of utilizing groundpenetrating radar (GPR) in Florida to detect buried bodies. Twenty-four burials were constructed with pig cadavers and divided equally into two groups of average weights (24.49 and 63.5 kg) and buried at one of two depths (50-60 or 100-1 10 cm). Two soils were also utilized in this study to represent two of the most common soil orders in Florida: Entisols and Ultisols. Graves were monitored on a monthly basis for time periods up to 21 months with two GPR systems. During this study, grave anomalies became less distinctive over time due to decomposition of the body and settling of the disturbed soil (backfill) as it compacted. Soil type was a major factor. Grave anomalies became more difficult to recognize over time for deep targets that were within clay. Forensic targets that were in sandy soil were recognized for the duration of this study. Pig size was not a factor. The anomaly that was produced from a child size pig cadaver had the same general characteristics and was detected for the same duration of time as a larger pig cadaver.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4758, Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, (12 April 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.462239
Show Author Affiliations
John J. Schultz, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Anthony B. Falsetti, Univ. of Florida (United States)
M. Collins, Univ. of Florida (United States)
Steven Koppenjan, Bechtal Nevada/Special Technologies Lab. (United States)
Michael W. Warren, Univ. of Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4758:
Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar
Steven Koppenjan; Hua Lee, Editor(s)

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