Consulting economic geologist
Jeffrey C. Reid, PhD, PG, CPG

Forensic geology - educational service for judges and attorneys

Geologic materials and building materials — Widespread and a potential source of forensic geological evidence

We provide an educational service for judges, attorneys, and police to evaluate forensic geological evidence. We conduct forensic geological investigations of earth materials -- many of these are building materials as well as naturally occurring earth materials. introduction to soils and sources for additional information about soils. Soils are an important component of forensic geology. Soils are widespread and are a potential source of forensic geological evidence. This might include mud on tires and vehicle frames, soil on shoes, dirt in vehicle interiors or in dwellings, etc.

Earth and building materials study

- Natural
- Man made

Analytical tools and instruments

Forensic geology

ForensicGeology, Inc. is an educational service for judges, attorneys, and police to evaluate forensic geological evidence. We conduct forensic geological investigations of earth materials -- many of these are building materials as well as naturally occurring earth materials.

Examples of earth- and building materials include: soils, rocks, minerals, masonry and stucco, masonry cement, play sand, decorative pebbles and gravel, concrete mix, pavers and step stones (natural and man made), 'granite' countertops, floor and wall tile (ceramic, porcelain, natural stone), brick, concrete or cinder block, glass, metals, lumber, wall board and siding (some types), rebar, decorative sand, rock or lava, fossils, insulation, plant and garden soil, and soil amendments (vermiculite and perlite).

Evidence may include the presence of materials not native (transported) to a site or crime scene. Or it may include detection, identification and characterization of material being present on shoes (especially soles), clothing, on or in vehicles, vehicle frames, tires, etc. Potentially a "history of a layer" can reveal the sources of debris or mud on a vehicle, and the sequence they accumulated.

Analytical tools and instruments used in forensic geology investigations include: stereozoom binocular microscopes, petrographic microscopes, x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning election microscopes, electron microprobes, geologic maps and air photos. Most cases require 'chain-of custody' procedures for evidence collection or review.