The IUGS Initiative

on Forensic Geology

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) was established
at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France on 22 February 2011. The aim of the IUGS-IFG is,
‘to develop forensic geology internationally and promote its applications’.

What is Forensic Geology?

Forensic geology, also known more broadly as ‘forensic geoscience’ or ‘geoforensics’ is the application of geology to policing and law enforcement, which may potentially be applicable to a court of law’. More simply, forensic geology is the application of geology to aid the investigation of crime. Forensic geology also includes serious crimes (e.g. homicide, rape and other sexual assaults), serious and organised crime (e.g. related to gangs and cartels), counter terrorism, water searches, search for people who have been reported as ‘missing’ or lost, humanitarian incidents, environmental crimes, wildlife crime, precious minerals and minerals theft minerals substitution, assay sample adulteration, fraudulent and financial crimes, conflict minerals, fakery (e.g. gemstones, minerals, precious metals, valuable or rare fossils, art and artefacts), geotechnical engineering, engineering geology and geohazards.

New Horizons in Forensic Geoscience: The Bedrock of International Security in Minerals, Mining, Metals, Murders and the Missing

This meeting will capture interest across the geological, forensic, law enforcement, environmental science, mining & mineral fraud.

Mon, 4 Dec 2023 13:00 – Tue, 5 Dec 2023 13:00 GMT



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September 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
November 20, 2023
  • 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences November 20, 2023 - November 24, 2023

    The IAFS encompasses academics and practicing professionals in the forensic specialties. Since 1957, the IAFS has delivered an international meeting every three years to allow the forensic community to meet and exchange ideas. It is our pleasure to host IAFS 2023 in the newly revamped International Convention Centre in Sydney, Australia. We feel privileged and honoured that many of the world’s leading investigators in the field will actively participate and inspire over 1,500 attendees from across the world.

    Official website: 23rd Triennial Meeting of the IAFS

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December 4, 2023
  • New Horizons in Forensic Geoscience: The Bedrock of International Security in Minerals, Mining, Metals, Murders and the Missing December 4, 2023 - December 5, 2023Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD, Reino Unido

    The Forensic Geoscience Group of the Geological Society of London (GSL-FGG) and the International Union ofGeological Sciences, Initiative on Forensic Geology (IUGS-IFG) are offering a forum where contributors from the UKand internationally, can present and debate the results of recent research and operational case studies in forensicgeology. In addition, this event will demonstrate where forensic geology has delivered to policy and practice withsessions on regulation and the law. The event will also focus on minerals, mining and meatal crimes, search operations,geological trace evidence and policy. We anticipate this event attracting international delegates and will encouragethis by enabling livestreaming of some of the presentations. Suppliers of equipment, software and services will alsobe invited to attend. The meeting therefore represents an invaluable opportunity for practitioners and researchers toexchange information about recent global developments in forensic geology.

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Research Fields

Soil Forensics

Analysis and correlation between traces of soil collected at crime scenes.

Forensic Geophysics

Subsurface investigation in search of targets of forensic interest.

Forensic Isotopes

Determination of the geographical origin of plants and living beings.

Gems, Precious Metals and Artworks

Identification and characterization of illegally traded gemstones.

Illegal Mining

Investigation of environmental crimes and illegal mineral extraction.

Forensic Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical evaluation of dams and mass movements under judicial investigation.

Forensic Paleontology

Characterization and tracking of paleontological pieces trafficked in Brazil.

Forensic Palynology

Study of the application of botanical and palynological traces in the resolution of crimes.

Geoforensics & Society

Advances, paradigms and impacts of Forensic Geosciences in Society.

Geoforensic Search Strategy (GSS)

The design, management and implementation of a ground search based primarily on geological principles, methods and techniques and combined with law enforcement intelligence, tactics and operational support.


IUGS-IFG Student Chapters are present in 4 countries:

  • Brazil (14)
  • Argentine (1)
  • Chile (1)
  • India (1)


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