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Geophysical Assessment of Illegally Buried Toxic Waste for a Legal Enquiry: a case study in Northern Ireland (UK)




Buried illegal waste and uncontrolled legal waste dumps are a major problem throughout the world, both in developing and more economically developed countries. Criminal investigations can effectively use geoscience investigations to assist them to better understand how to locate and characterise such waste. When a case is brought to the courts, a number of facts must be presented, such as how the waste dump was located; its makeup, any leachate generation/movement; the waste volume and whether it has polluted areas outside of owner’s land. This paper presents a brief overview of how this currently occurs and evidences this by a case study. The case study illustrates how a combination of geodetic topographic and near-surface geophysics surveys were used successfully to determine the amount of illegal waste present on a site, in a case brought by environmental law enforcement agencies.

Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2018
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Journal Environmental Forensics
Print ISSN 1527-5922
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Pages 239-252
Keywords illegally-buried waste, security, geophysics, resistivity, GPR
Publisher URL