Bill Cotching - Soil Scientist & Ceramic Artist

Soil management and research, ceramics, Tasmania, Australia


Six soil stories of Northwest Tasmania:

1. Soil boundaries are often abrupt due to changes in underlying parent materials. The Northwest has some of the oldest rocks in Tasmania (quartzite) and some of the youngest sediments (estuarine sands).

2. The largest area of soil forming basalt occurs in Northwest Tasmania on which are formed Ferrosols.

3. There is a strong climate gradient from warm and dry (900 mm annual rainfall) on the coast rising with altitude to higher rainfall (1500 mm) and cooler temperatures.

4. Strongly structured red Ferrosols are the most versatile soils in Tasmania but they are suffering soil health decline under intense cropping regimes.

5. On-going soil erosion from sloping red Ferrosols under annual cropping.

Large areas of flat former swampland that have been successfully drained and are now used for agriculture, in particular dairying. 


I have created a number of fact sheets describing different soils that occur in north-west Tasmania. Select and download from the list below. 

Some of these fact sheets describe soils that are classified similarly (e.g. Ferrosols), some describe a few soils in a locality, while others are just out there.

Red soils - Ferrosols or Krasnozems - Tasmania's Sate Soil

Soil orders of Tasmania

Geology of Tasmania 

more to be added