Soil comparisons can be used to establish if soil from a crime scene is similar to soil discovered on items associated with a suspect, such as shoes, clothing, tools or tires. Soil standards from the crime scene will also need to be collected for comparison. Many soils can be differentiated by their color. Soils are primarily assessed by comparing the mineral content. Soils from random sources are typically different. Soil from a suspect's shoes that is similar to the soil of a specific location may help place that person at that location.
Soil examinations are performed using color comparison, sieving the soil into size fractions and microscopy.
Comparison polarized light microscope image of two different minerals from soil