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MONITORING SHALLOW CONTROLLED GRAVES CONTAINING SMALL CADAVERS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) can be a useful geophysical instrument in the search and detection of clandestine graves in a forensic context. Controlled research in the field of forensic archaeology has demonstrated the applicability of this technology and is vital for improving GPR search methods. The objectives of this research was to evaluate the applicability of GPR, using 250 MHz and 500 MHz antennae, to locate shallow graves containing small pig cadavers in various burial scenarios over a 12 month period. Data was collected on a controlled grid containing six graves at 0.5 m in depth: five graves containing pig carcasses and one control grave. The five graves containing the pig carcasses were devised to test a number of common forensic burial scenarios. The reflection profile data was processed using the computer program REFLEXW. The results demonstrate that the additional grave items did not always increase the detection of the grave for this monitoring period. Further, the low demarcation of the grave containing disturbed backfill illustrated that the hyperbolic reflection features were the result of the pig carcasses and not the disturbed soil. In terms of antenna performance, the 250 MHz data initially provided a higher resolution within the first few months. However, over time the higher detail provided by the 500 MHz data consistently resulted in easily discernable reflections.
Title: MONITORING SHALLOW CONTROLLED GRAVES CONTAINING SMALL CADAVERS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR.
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Name(s): Fletcher, Joanna, Author
Schultz, John, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) can be a useful geophysical instrument in the search and detection of clandestine graves in a forensic context. Controlled research in the field of forensic archaeology has demonstrated the applicability of this technology and is vital for improving GPR search methods. The objectives of this research was to evaluate the applicability of GPR, using 250 MHz and 500 MHz antennae, to locate shallow graves containing small pig cadavers in various burial scenarios over a 12 month period. Data was collected on a controlled grid containing six graves at 0.5 m in depth: five graves containing pig carcasses and one control grave. The five graves containing the pig carcasses were devised to test a number of common forensic burial scenarios. The reflection profile data was processed using the computer program REFLEXW. The results demonstrate that the additional grave items did not always increase the detection of the grave for this monitoring period. Further, the low demarcation of the grave containing disturbed backfill illustrated that the hyperbolic reflection features were the result of the pig carcasses and not the disturbed soil. In terms of antenna performance, the 250 MHz data initially provided a higher resolution within the first few months. However, over time the higher detail provided by the 500 MHz data consistently resulted in easily discernable reflections.
Identifier: CFE0003592 (IID), ucf:48883 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Department of Anthropology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Ground penetrating radar
geophysical search methods
forensic anthropology
forensic archaeology
clandestine burials
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003592
Restrictions on Access: campus 2012-03-01
Host Institution: UCF

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