Skip main navigation

Types of fingermarks, their detection and enhancement

Types of fingermarks, their detection and enhancement

The next set of videos present information about the detection and enhancement of fingermarks.

We will discuss the difference between visible fingerprints and fingermarks and latent, or invisible, prints and marks. The latter need to be enhanced in some way so that they can be visualized. Such enhancement makes use of the various secretions left in fingermark/print deposits and the nature of the surface that the marks are deposited upon.

There are a wide range of chemical enhancement techniques used by mark enhancement laboratories. Once enhanced, the marks are photographed and the photographs are then looked at by a fingerprint examiner. Chemical enhancement techniques have been used for many years, either on their own or in some cases sequentially, one after the other.

The UK fingerprint source book in the ‘see also’ resource section below provides a lot of detailed information about these techniques if you wish to read more about enhancement. There is a lot of material and it might be interesting for you to browse through some of it at your own pace.

This article is from the free online

Introduction to Forensic Science

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now