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Episodes 2017; 40(2): 96-105

Published online June 1, 2017


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Introduction: The Episodes themed issue on Forensic Geology and the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology

Laurance J. Donnelly*

Arup, 6th Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BN, UK; Chair, International Union of Geological Sciences, Initiative on Forensic Geology (IUGS-IFG); *Corresponding author, E-mail: Laurance.Donnelly@arup.com; geologist@hotmail.co.uk

Correspondence to:*E-mail: Laurance.Donnelly@arup.com; geologist@hotmail.co.uk

Received: November 23, 2016; Revised: March 4, 2017; Accepted: March 4, 2017

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This themed issue of ‘Episodes’ is dedicated entirely to forensic geology. This provides an overview of how geologists assist the police and law enforcement to help investigate crimes. The documented application of geology to police and law enforcement dates back to the middle part of the 19th Century, and possibly to Roman times. Until the establishment of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG), in 2011, there was no international organization aimed at developing forensic geology on a global scale. Previously, forensic geologists worked in relative isolation from other fellow geologists. There were few incentives or opportunities for the advancement of forensic geology. IUGS-IFG has provided opportunities, incentives and the drive for the global development of forensic geology, as exemplified in this issue of Episodes.