Detecting submerged objects: The application of side scan sonar to forensic contexts
Abbreviated Journal Title
Forensic geoscience; Submerged object searches; Submerged search; methods; Side scan sonar; GPR; GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR; IRELAND; ARCHAEOLOGY; UNDERWATER; BURIALS; GRAVES; BODIES; RECORD; Medicine, Legal
Forensic personnel must deal with numerous challenges when searching for submerged objects. While traditional water search methods have generally involved using dive teams, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and water scent dogs for cases involving submerged objects and bodies, law enforcement is increasingly integrating multiple methods that include geophysical technologies. There are numerous advantages for integrating geophysical technologies, such as side scan sonar and ground penetrating radar (GPR), with more traditional search methods. Overall, these methods decrease the time involved searching, in addition to increasing area searched. However, as with other search methods, there are advantages and disadvantages when using each method. For example, in instances with excessive aquatic vegetation or irregular bottom terrain, it may not be possible to discern a submersed body with side scan sonar. As a result, forensic personnel will have the highest rate of success during searches for submerged objects when integrating multiple search methods, including deploying multiple geophysical technologies. The goal of this paper is to discuss the methodology of various search methods that are employed for submerged objects and how these various methods can be integrated as part of a comprehensive protocol for water searches depending upon the type of underwater terrain. In addition, two successful case studies involving the search and recovery of a submerged human body using side scan sonar are presented to illustrate the successful application of integrating a geophysical technology with divers when searching for a submerged object. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Forensic Science International
"Detecting submerged objects: The application of side scan sonar to forensic contexts" (2013). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 4660.