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Physical Geography and Soil Science

Laboratory for geomorphology and soil sciences

Professorship for Physical Geography and Soil Science:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Birgit Terhorst

Laboratory management:
Dr. Martin Krech

The research and teaching laboratory is part of the department of Physical Geography at the Institute of Geography and Geology and it operates since 2009 after intensive modification and renovation works. The laboratory offers a wide range of instruments for pedochemical, sedimentological, soil mechanical, geomorphological as well as geotechnical analysis. Furthermore, we provide microscopic workstations with digital image analysis. It is thus possible for students to gain substantial analytical knowledge and also important methodical experience during the course. The laboratory forms an important part of the student education within the field of Physical Geography. Practices, methodological courses, and project seminars are in the center of our teaching activity. It is important to know that all kinds of thesis are supervised in our lab facilities. Thus, we offer a career oriented methodological education on the base of analytical knowledge. The lab also works for university partners and it may provide analytical data for external parties for commission works.

Geomorphologisch-bodenkundliches Labor
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Institut für Geographie und Geologie
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

Telefon: +49 (0)931 / 31-81799
Telefax: +49 (0)931 / 31-85544

All rooms are located on the first floor of the building.
Room 113:  Microscopic analysis, heavy mineral separation
Room 114: Sample preparation, sieve analysis (gradation tests), and geotechnical experiments
Room 115: Pedochemical, sedimentological, and soil hydrological analysis
Room 116: laboratory management  Dr. Martin Krech


The analytical set for research and teaching purposes is listed below. For further information please contact Dr. Martin Krech.

  • Granulometry/Grain size distribution according to DIN ISO 11277 and DIN 18123
  • Carbonate content according to DIN ISO 10390
  • pH-Value according to DIN ISO 10390
  • CNS elementary analysis (Carbon – Nitrogen – Sulphur) according to DIN ISO 10694, 13878 u. 15178
  • Organic content within a sample according to DIN 19684-3
  • Consistency limits/state boundaries after Attenberg according to DIN 18122
  • Determination of dry bulk density according to DIN ISO 11272
  • Determination of grain gross density according to DIN ISO 11508
  • Determination of water permeability in water saturated cylindrical soil sampling rings according to DIN 19683-9
  • Heavy mineral separation
  • Heavy mineral determination and thin section analysis
  • Determination of soil color with Spectrophotometer Colorlite sph870


Several courses for students in their Bachelors and Masters degrees aim to provide an elementary understanding of working in a laboratory. These include behaviour and organization at the workspace, technical abilities, and routine in working with the equipment. It is also important to get an understanding for the importance of quantitative data collection/surveying to be able to validate as well as refine results of the fieldwork.

By using previously described methods and the subsequent interpretation of results, students are encouraged to validate, deepen and strengthen their pre-existing theoretical knowledge of pedology and geomorphology. In regard of practical use, it is also necessary to convey not only possibilities but also restrictions of norms and regulations for different methods, respectively.


  • Bachelor students:
    Physical Geography: Methods (04-Geo-MPG 1)
    : Pedological lab methods
  • Master studies (Applied Physical Geography):
    Soil geographic lab- and microscopy course (04-Geo-MBG 2)
    : practical work for advanced students as part of the Masters` program.