Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


The purpose of this project was to develop a comprehensive analytical method for the characterization of soil by examining particle size, elemental composition, and percent organic matter in soil, and to determine its forensic applicability. In this study, five soils of varying geological locations were examined including two samples from Kentucky; two samples from Pennsylvania; and one from Washington D C A Gilson sonic sieve shaker was used to separate fractions of soil to determine particle size, and a JEOL scanning electron microscope with a Kevex EDS detector was used to determine elemental composition. These techniques coupled with percent total carbon analysis (determined with a LECO CHN-1000) provide a method that measures three forensic properties instead of one for the forensic comparison of soil.


Chemistry | Earth Sciences