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Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0004-4822


SAGRIPANTI, Guillermo; VILLALBA, Diego; AGUILERA, David  y  GIACCARDI, Aldo. Forensic Geology: Methods employed in the search of missing people in the central region of Argentina. Rev. Asoc. Geol. Argent. [online]. 2013, vol.70, n.1, pp.150-160. ISSN 0004-4822.

Forensic geology is a branch of the Earth Sciences that, through the collection and analysis of minerals, soil, water, etc., can provide valuable evidence for the resolution of problems at the request of The Ministry/ Department of Justice. The aims of this paper are threefold: first, to report the activities carried out by forensic geology as regards the search of clandestine burial sites of missing people in the central region of Argentina; second, to share some of the geological-geophysical methodologies suitable for this kind of search; and third, to promote colleague participation in order to multiply efforts in relation to the contributions that geology can make to Human Rights. The investigations reported in this paper have been carried out on grounds of Clandestine Detention Centers located in the center of Argentina, as the result of the request made by the Ministry/Department of Justice, the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology, and National Human Rights Organizations. The knowledge and methods usually employed in conventional geological investigations have been adapted to be applied in this kind of search, including morpho-lithological analysis, electrical tomography, geo-radar, geomechanical trials and trench excavations. Evidence of anthropic disturbance on a particular surface as the result of an excavation loses its expression rapidly, while the evidence that affects the top of the soil profile can be recognized and located using geological-geophysical methods, even after several decades. The research team dedicated to the exploration of potential burial sites of missing people should be interdisciplinary, since a greater amount of data and views increases the chances of findings.

Palabras clave : Clandestine burials; Missing people; Geophysical methods; Trenches.

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