Ridge Characteristics


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        A single rolled fingerprint may have as many as 100 or more identification points that can be used for identification purposes. These points are often ridge characteristics. There are many different ridge characteristics, although some of them are more common than others. These points can be used as points of comparison for fingerprint identification. Depending on how prevalent the ridge characteristics, fewer or more points of comparison may be needed for a positive identification. 

Ridge Dots

An isolated ridge unit whose length approximates its width in size



The point at which one friction ridge divides into two friction ridges



Double Bifurcation     Opposed Bifurcation


The point at which one friction ridge divides into three friction ridges 

 Ending Ridge

A single friction ridge that terminates within the friction ridge structure


 Ridge Crossing

A point where two ridge units intersect

 Enclosures (Lakes)

A single friction ridge that bifurcates and rejoins after

a short course and continues as a single friction ridge

Short Ridges (Islands)

Friction ridges of varying lengths


 Spurs (Hooks)

A bifurcation with one short ridge branching off a longer ridge


A connecting friction ridge between parallel running ridges, generally right angles