Soil node – Melbourne TrACEES Platform

The Melbourne Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Sciences (TrACEES) Platform’s Soil node has a strong capability in soils and environmental research and testing and offers a range of services, including nutrients, stable isotopes, total carbon & nitrogen, etc. The laboratory is accredited with ASPAC (Australasian Soil and Plant Analysis Council) certificate.

Selected services for various gas, soil, manure, plant samples include:

Sample preparation

  • Moisture (105oC), soil dry and ball mill grind
  • Dilution, acid digestion, filtration, encapsulation and weighing

Carbon and Nitrogen

  • Stable isotopes of 13C and 15N
  • Total N and C by Dumas combustion
  • Total C with removal of carbonates
  • Organic Carbon
  • NO3/NO2-N and NH4-N in KCl extract
  • Urea in KCl extract


  • Extractable P (Olsen or Colwell in bicarbonate extract)
  • Fluoride extractable P (Bray 1-P)
  • Kjeldahl P

Elemental and Ion

  • Exchangeable bases (Ca, Mg, Na, K) in NH4Cl extract
  • Mehlich multi-element extract (P, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, B, S and Al)
  • DTPA-extractable Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe
  • Dithionite extractable Fe and Al
  • Acid ammonium oxalate extractable Fe and Al
  • Pyrophosphate extractable Fe and Al
  • Colwell K (bicarbonate extraction)


  • Texture (hand bolus)
  • Particle size analysis (hexametaphosphate hydrometer method)
  • pH and electrical conductivity


  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)
  • Segmented flow analyser (SFA)
  • Total carbon and nitrogen anlayser (TCN)
  • Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrophotometer (ICPOES)
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS)
  • Greenhouse gas chromatograph (gGC)

How to engage the group

Full details of the Soils node service and portal for submitting an analytical request can be found here.

Contact information

Michael Hall
Technical Specialist