Identifying WA soils

Western Australia covers a vast area with a wide range of soil types. Many areas of the south-west of the state are characterised by soils with sandy surfaces ranging from deeps sands to sands over clays, and soils dominated by ironstone gravels. Soils in the northern parts of the state, although variable, are often characterised by oxides of iron giving them a characteristic red colour.

Soil type influences the capacity of the land to support agricultural production, and an understanding of their characteristics and distribution is very important for sustainable land management.

Through research and the development of information resources, the department plays an important role in assisting landholders to better understand their soils.


  • There are many benefits from monitoring and assessing pastoral rangeland condition, and monitoring is done at several levels to meet the needs of rangeland managers, researchers and government admi

  • Healthy soils support the exchange of energy and nutrients, which sustains plant and animal life as well as the production and decomposition of organic matter.

  • This guide helps users to describe the most important parts of a soil profile and provide an easy way to understand and explain the diversity of our soils.

  • Estimating or measuring soil texture provides valuable information about soil properties affecting crop and pasture growth. Soil texture affects the movement and availability of air, nutrients and

  • This page provides links to information on the constraints and characteristics of each soil group, soil profile images and maps showing where soil groups are located in Western Australia.

  • Soil aggregate stability is the ability of a soil to regulate the movement and storage of air and water throughout the soil profile.

  • The only way to diagnose soil acidity is to sample the soil and test the pH.

  • Sand or loam topsoil over alkaline clay subsoil at <30 centimetres (cm).

  • Yellow, brown and red deep sands.