Earth and Environment

Earth and Environment Analysis Laboratory


Further information

  • A-Z: Staff profiles
  • PHD Opportunities in Science

Welcome to UWA's Earth and Environment Analysis Laboratory (EEAL), a comprehensive analytical facility that incorporates a range of instrumentation to provide accurate and precise analysis in several environmental areas.

At UWA, research groups use EEAL as their preferred analysis provider to ensure high quality results and the chance to communicate with technicians on the data that is reported. Our laboratory has been involved with providing high quality data for use in journal articles, government and stakeholder reporting, as well as private industry application for more than a decade.

As a member of the Australian Soil and Plant Analysis Council, EEAL participates in ASPAC's inter-laboratory proficiency testing programs. This ensures international recognition and certification for a number of soil and plant tests which enables EEAL to provide the highest quality of analysis with confidence to our researchers, students, consultants and other clients.

The EEAL technicians are available for consultation to provide expert knowledge on how to best achieve your desired results and provide insight for relevant analytical techniques.

Contact us for further information regarding specific areas of research interest.

Plant analysis
Plant Analysis
EEAL provides a range of general analytical and sample preparation services for plant materials. Within this area we specialise in:
  • sample digestions and multi-element analysis by ICP-OES
  • carbon and nitrogen analysis by Elementar Vario Macro
  • Kjeldahl digestion for nitrogen and phosphorus.
Soil and sediment analysis
Soil and Sediment Analysis
EEAL is certified for a range of fertility tests on soils as well as physical testing. Our sample preparation facilities will accommodate drying, sieving, crushing and grinding to suit the required analytical techniques, including:

  • multi-element analysis using Mehlich III and DTPA extracting solutions
  • cation exchange capacity and exchangeable cations
  • total carbon and nitrogen analysis
  • mineralogical and clay mineralogical analysis (XRD)
  • particle size analysis by a variety of techniques
  • phosphorus - bicarbonate extractable and total
  • ....and more.
Geochemical analysis
Geotechnical and Geochemical Analysis
EEAL provides a range of digestion and sample preparation techniques for multi-element analysis of soil, sediment or rock samples using ICP-OES, ICP-MS or XRF. Preparations include:

  • multi-element analysis can be carried out on extracted solutions using ICP-OES or ICP-MS
  • XRF and XRD preparation and measurement facilities
  • low level gold analysis using GF-AAS
  • sample fusion for total element analysis
  • Aqua-regia digestion for near total elemental analysis
  • partial extractants designed to dissolve specific mineral phases.
Water analysis
Water analysis
We have a wide range of instruments and techniques equipped for analysis of most aspects of water chemistry. Our flow injection analysis instrument is capable of high throughput, low level analysis of dissolved and total nutrients. Analyses of interest may include:
  • multi element analysis using ICP-OES
  • nutrient analysis (low level NH3, NOx, PO4, TN, TP)
  • chlorophyll (Chlorophyll-a and pheophythin-a by fluorescence or Chlorophyll-a,b,c by absorption)
  • dissolved Organic/Inorganic Carbon (DOC/DIC)
  • total alkalinity and acidity
  • other general analytes including (TDS, TSS, VSS/LOI, pH, conductivity and many more).
The facility hosts a wide range of high quality instruments such as two multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers, two (dissolved organic) carbon and nitrogen analysers, a thermal gravimetric analyser, a particle size distribution analyser and various other instruments.

Certified tests are carried out using standard methods from Rayment, G. E., Lyons, D. J. (2011) Soil Chemical Methods - Australasia. CSIRO publishing, Collingwood VIC.

Methods used in water analysis are sourced from Eaton, A. D., Rice, E. W., Baird, R. B., & Clesceri, L. S. (2012). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater: American Public Health Association