Date of Submission


Document Type



Josep De Alcaraz-Fossoul, Ph.D.


Latent Fingermark Depletion Series, 3D Imaging, Pattern of Ridge Height, Volume Loss, Universal Latent Workstation (ULW), Visual Ridge Quality


Fingerprints, Three-dimensional imaging


The purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of ridge height and volume loss of latent fingermarks in a depletion series using 3D imaging in combination with a 2D traditional approach. The study also explored if any pattern of height and volume loss was consistent across twelve individuals and correlated with decreasing visual qualities of the fingermarks in 2D. A series of nine consecutive fingermarks were deposited in triplicate on a glass substrate by each volunteer. Each deposition was analyzed using a 3D Optical Profilometer microscope to collect data on the ridge height and volume across the depletion series. After data acquisition in 3D, the fingermarks were visualized with magnetic powder, photographed, and quantitative data, including morphometric data, collected by the Universal Latent Workstation (ULW) software to compare the two sets of data (3D vs. 2D). This research revealed that the patterns of height and volume loss and the decline of visual ridge quality was statistically significant from the beginning to the end of the depletion series, though it was detected that the pattern of height and volume loss was much more drastic than that of visual quality.