We have all heard of DNA fingerprinting, where the DNA in a person’s blood is identified, for example, at the scene of a crime, or on a victim, leading to a criminal prosecution.
But, what exactly is a geochemical fingerprint? Well, the same principle applies, but this time it concerns rocks. The geochemistry of a rock can provide information about how it formed, when, and what has happened to it since.
It can also be used for a variety of non-geological purposes, such as, for example, determining where a neo-lithic person lived from the examination of the carbon and oxygen isotopes in their teeth enamel.
This provides clues as to what they ate, and what water they drank.
Broadcast on Science Spinning on 103.2 Dublin City FM on 12-04-2012