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The Soil Physics Laboratories are operated by our soils teams based at Palmerston North and Hamilton. We provide a range of high-quality laboratory and field analyses of soils to assist researchers and commercial clients.

Our focus is on specialised areas of soil quality, particle size, porosity, moisture release, hydraulic conductivity, bioretention media performance testing, and other analyses. These tests provide data for plant production, irrigation, drainage, and effluent management, which are key aspects of farm management, nutrient loss prevention, consent compliance, and environmental modelling.

Our clients include councils, consultants, research institutes, universities, and businesses that need to comply with resource consents.

Services offered

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

Laboratory tests

The laboratory-specific tests we conduct include:

  • particle size analysis for both fine fraction (sand/silt/clay; IANZ accredited*) and coarse fraction (stones)
  • dry bulk density, particle density, total porosity, macroporosity
  • water release characterisation (available water capacity, field capacity, air capacity, wilting point)
  • volumetric water content at a range of applied matric tensions(0–1500 kPa)
  • hydraulic conductivities (saturated or unsaturated; e.g. K–20, K–40, K–100
  • soil engineering (liquid and plastic limits, miniature compaction tests*)
  • bioretention media performance of potting mix, green roof, and rain garden substrate (ASTM F1815)*
  • soil aggregate stability and size*
  • air permeability*
  • field determinations (infiltration rates, hydraulic conductivities#).

* Available only at Palmerston North
# Available only at Hamilton

Lab manager, Palmerston North

Lab manager, Hamilton

Senior researcher, soil physics. For research enquiries.