Burial -- Florida, Ground penetrating radar
Geophysical techniques, such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), have been successfully used by law enforcement agencies to locate graves and forensic evidence. However, more controlled research is needed to better understand the potential and limitations of this technology in the forensic context. The goal of this study was to determine the potential of GPR using both a 250 MHz and 500 MHz antennae to monitor eight controlled graves with six different burial scenarios using pig carcasses as human proxy cadavers. In addition, a conductivity meter was employed to determine the applicability of using this technology to locate unmarked graves. For the conductivity meter, the data was processed using an EM38 program in conjunction with the SURFER program to display a conductivity contour map of the grid. For the GPR imagery, reflection profile data was processed using the program REFLEXW while horizontal slices were processed using the GPR-SLICE program. Results indicate that the conductivity meter is not a viable option in the detection of clandestine graves when other geophysical tools are available. For the GPR, results indicate that while graves can still be detected after a two-year period, there is a marked decrease in the response, or resolution, of the burial scenarios. Furthermore, burials with grave goods interred along with the carcasses were far more likely to be detected than burials that were interred with no accompanying grave goods. When comparing the performance of the two antennae, the 250 MHz antenna provided increased resolution for large cadavers buried in deep graves.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Hawkins, William T., "Monitoring Long-term Controlled Grave Scenarios Using Ground Penetrating Radar" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2048.