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Hutton forensic soil scientist in multi-agency search for Moira Anderson

Soil analysis (c) James Hutton Institute
"We are using a range of equipment to survey non-destructively the canal to identify priority search areas"

Professor Lorna Dawson, a forensic soil scientist based at the James Hutton Institute, has joined a team of Police Scotland detectives as they commence a full scientific examination of a site in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire as part of the investigation into the disappearance of 11-year-old Moira Anderson.

The investigation is focused on a site at the Monkland Canal in Carnbroe, between Airdrie and Coatbridge, after new evidence came to light. Moira disappeared after leaving her grandmother’s house in Coatbridge on 23 February 1957 to buy margarine at a local shop and never returned.

The search included the use of enhanced technology including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Sonar Scanning to identify any anomalies at the base of the three-metre deep canal.

Magnetometry (Identification of magnetic anomalies) and earth science techniques will be applied to determine if there is any evidence of Moira’s remains at the bottom of the canal.

Experts involved in the site examination include Professor Lorna Dawson (James Hutton Institute), Professor Alastair Ruffell (Queens University, Belfast), Professor Sue Black and Dr Lucina Hackman (both from the University of Dundee), as well as Murray Haynes (National Crime Agency).

Professor Dawson commented: “As part of a team of specialists from Police Scotland Dive team, CAST, and Queens University Belfast we are working on the Monkland Canal using a range of equipment to survey non-destructively the canal to identify the priority areas for subsequent recovery of detected anomalies in the next phase which will be carried out next week.”

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Printed from /news/hutton-forensic-soil-scientist-multi-agency-search-moira-anderson on 25/09/23 05:04:36 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.