Thermal Identification of Clandestine Burials: A Signature Analysis and Image Classification Approach

Description:

Clandestine burials, the interred human remains of forensic interest, are generally small features located in isolated environments. Typical ground searches can be both time-consuming and dangerous. Thermal remote sensing has been recognized for some time as a possible search strategy for such burials that are in relatively open areas; however, there is a paucity of published research with respect to this application. This project involved image manipulation, the analyses of signatures for "graves" of various depths when compared to an undisturbed background, and the use of image classification techniques to tease out these features. This research demonstrates a relationship between the depth of burial disturbance and the resultant signature. Further, image classification techniques, especially object-oriented algorithms, can be successfully applied to single band thermal imagery. These findings may ultimately decrease burial search times for law enforcement and increase the likelihood of locating clandestine graves.

Creator(s): Servello, John A.
Creation Date: December 2010
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Usage:
Total Uses: 462
Past 30 days: 14
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Creator (Author):
Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: December 2010
Description:

Clandestine burials, the interred human remains of forensic interest, are generally small features located in isolated environments. Typical ground searches can be both time-consuming and dangerous. Thermal remote sensing has been recognized for some time as a possible search strategy for such burials that are in relatively open areas; however, there is a paucity of published research with respect to this application. This project involved image manipulation, the analyses of signatures for "graves" of various depths when compared to an undisturbed background, and the use of image classification techniques to tease out these features. This research demonstrates a relationship between the depth of burial disturbance and the resultant signature. Further, image classification techniques, especially object-oriented algorithms, can be successfully applied to single band thermal imagery. These findings may ultimately decrease burial search times for law enforcement and increase the likelihood of locating clandestine graves.

Degree:
Level: Master's
Discipline: Biology
Physical Description:

xii 170 p.: ill.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Forensic anthropology | image classification | clandestine grave | remote sensing | thermal
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 743842672 |
  • UNTCAT: b4018486 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc33201
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Servello, John A.
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.