The CSIRO National Soil Archive maintains a collection of soil specimens from across Australia. The Archive is an important resource for future soil research, storing over 71,000 soil specimens, collected from around 9,500 sites Australia-wide.
The Archive’s soil specimens are invaluable “time capsules” for assessing temporal changes in soil properties, particularly as new analytical tools become available.
The Archive's data can be accessed in the Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS), where site reports containing available soil morphology and soil chemistry data can be viewed or downloaded.
What does the National Soil Archive do?
The CSIRO National Soil Archive:
- provides facilities and protocols for conserving the long-term scientific value of soil specimens and associated soil data
- makes archived specimens and their data available for public research, both now and into the future.
The Archive's core activities are the ongoing storage, archiving and maintenance of soil specimens and their associated field records, along with managing the associated NatSoil database.
Origins of the National Soil Archive
In 2003, the soil specimen collections from the CSIRO labs in Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth were sent to Canberra to create a national collection.
While the vast majority of original specimens were collected by CSIRO, many thousands of additional specimens have now been submitted by other organisations, predominantly state and territory agencies.
Soil specimens in the Archive date from the late 1920s to the present day.