Campus Units

Mechanical Engineering

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Forensic Science International




The bloodstain pattern analyst sometimes has to judge if a given stain could originate from a specific location. A wide range of values of the maximum distance that a blood drop can travel have been reported from experiments, ranging from less than one meter to more than 10 meter. Here we formulate the problem in a fluid dynamics and data mining framework. The fluid dynamics is solved with Newton’s classical equation of motion coupled with well-established models for the gravity and drag forces that bend the trajectories of drops. The parameters screened are the drop size, initial velocity and launch angle, as well as the height of a blood source and the ceiling height. Combining a wide range of values of those five parameter commended the performance of more than 5 million fluid dynamic simulations. Results of those simulations have been searched and mined for parameters directly measurable on a crime scene, such as the stain size and stain ellipticity. The results are presented in simple charts. Those charts are easy to use, and do not require any knowledge of fluid dynamics from the analyst.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Attinger, Daniel. "Charts based on millions of fluid dynamics simulations provide a simple tool to estimate how far from its source a specific blood stain can be found." Forensic Science International (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.02.052. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Elsevier B.V.



File Format


Published Version