Clarity of Shoe Impressions in Different Soil Types


  • Rachel Ann McNeal Texas A&M University


Forensic science is a vastly expanding field as many different types of evidence and methods of analysis are being developed.  One key type of evidence is impression evidence, and this experiment focused on shoe impressions made in soil.  The research was based on how different types of soil at different moisture levels affects the clarity of shoe impressions.  Shoe impressions were made in four various “types” of soil and three different impressions were made in each type.  Molds were taken in plaster and then analyzed to see the clarity at which the shoe impressions could be made out.  It was noted that none of the molds displayed individual characteristics and it was very different to observe even the basic tread of the shoe.  The results show that the soil with the higher moisture levels made it overall easier to see and analyze the tread of the shoe and that soil that is more malleable, but not muddy, allows for shoe impressions to be more easily read.



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