The use of magnetic susceptibility as a forensic search tool

Jamie K. Pringle*, Matteo Giubertoni, Nigel Cassidy, Kristopher D. Wisniewski, James D. Hansen, Neil T. Linford, Rebecca M. Daniels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


There are various techniques available for forensic search teams to employ to successfully detect a buried object. Near-surface geophysical search methods have been dominated by ground penetrating radar but recently other techniques, such as electrical resistivity, have become more common. This paper discusses magnetic susceptibility as a simple surface search tool illustrated by various research studies. These suggest magnetic susceptibility to be a relatively low cost, quick and effective tool, compared to other geophysical methods, to determine disturbed ground above buried objects and burnt surface remains in a variety of soil types. Further research should collect datasets over objects of known burial ages for comparison purposes and used in forensic search cases to validate the technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalForensic science international
Early online date11 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Forensic geophysics
  • Forensic science
  • Magnetic susceptibility
  • Search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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