Skip to content
The Soil Physics Laboratories are operated by the Soil and Landscapes team at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and are based at Palmerston North and Hamilton.

The laboratories offer a range of tests covering laboratory and field physical analyses of soils. Clients include regional and district councils, environmental consultants, other Crown Research Institutes, Universities and businesses needing to comply with land resource consents. The laboratories also provide support for research conducted within Manaaki Whenua.

Services offered

Please contact us to discuss a set of analyses customised to meet your needs. 

Laboratory tests

  • Particle Size Analysis (Sand/Silt/Clay, Stones)
  • Solid/Void Ratio Determinations (Dry Bulk Density, Particle Density, Total Porosity, Macro Porosity)
  • Water Release Characterisation (Available Water Capacities, Field capacity, Air Capacity, Wilting Point)
  • Volumetric water contents at a range of applied matric tensions (0–1500 kPa) i.e. pF curves
  • Hydraulic Conductivities (Saturated and/or unsaturated hydraulic conductivity at a variety of matric tensions (e.g. K–20, K–40, K–100)
  • Soil Engineering Measurements (liquid and plastic limits, miniature compaction tests*)
  • Other Analyses (Potting Media analyses, Greenroof and raingarden substrate analyses*, Water–stability of soil aggregates*, Aggregate Size*, Air Permeability*)

Field services

  • Field Determinations (infiltration rates, hydraulic conductivities#, cone penetration resistance*, oxygen diffusion rates*, plant root distribution*)
  • Sample Collection (bulk sampling, undisturbed core sampling, drill core sampling to 5 m)

* Available only at Palmerston North
# Available only at Hamilton

Key contact