Soil classification in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 11 August 2021 - 9:07am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

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. Landholders can use this information to assess land capability for a range of agricultural industries and to help develop soil management plans.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides this information to help improve sustainable and profitable use of the agricultural soil resource.

The main soil classification systems and information resources are:

Australian Soil Classification

This is an interactive soil key. The Australian Soil Classification is a framework for organising information about Australian soils and provides a means of communication amongst scientists and those who use the land.

Soil groups of Western Australia

Western Australian Soil Groups are a simple and standardised way to identify and name the main soils of Western Australia based on easy-to-recognise soil features. Sixty groups are described in the publication Soil groups of Western Australia. Maps showing the general distribution of these soil groups are available for the south-west and the rangelands.

A simple guide for describing soils

The simple guide for describing soils 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. By using this guide, you will be able to describe and record the soils you see with consistent, professional and easily understood terms – in other words, the language of soil.

MySoil: soil information relevant to production

MySoil can be found on the MyCrop website. MySoil summarises the soils of the south-west into 15 broad soil types which are a starting point for yield estimates (based on plant available water) and identifying constraints to crop production.


Soilguide is a comprehensive and practical guide to understanding agricultural soils and their management. It integrates a broad range of information about soils in south-western Australia. Soilguide describes how to assess soil properties that influence production and land degradation in the agricultural area and provides management options to minimise soil limitations.


NRInfo is a source of natural resource maps and data derived from databases maintained by DPIRD and other government agencies, including Landgate; Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage; Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and SafetyDepartment of Water and Environmental RegulationEnvironmental Protection Authority; and Geoscience Australia.

Distribution of classified soils in south-west Western Australia

This report (Resource management technical report 401) provides information and maps for the main 17 arable agricultural soils in south-west Western Australia. Agricultural soil names are related to the WA Soil Group names and the relative amounts of Australian Soil Classification Suborders.

The report includes:

  • distribution maps
  • soil properties and soil-profile photographs
  • soil descriptions with common names and area
  • the main soil characteristics affecting agricultural productivity.