Laboratory of Soil Science and Geoecology

The Laboratory of Soil Science and Geoecology, led by Dr. Peter Kühn, was significantly expanded and modernized since 2006. The laboratory now features state of the art equipment for sample preparation (e.g. MLS Start 1500 microwave, ball mill Pulverisette 5 (Fritsch), Freeze Drying System Alpha 1-4 LSCplus (Christ), Miele G 7883 AE washer-disinfector, several hoods and drying cabinets) and for numerous basic analyses (pH, EC, carbonate content,…).


The Vario EL III elemental analyzer, acquired in 2007, allows the determination of total C, N and S contents. The Perkin Elmer DV 5300 ICP OES (2009) simultaneously determines multiple elements; both are used for a variety of teaching and research projects within geography, soil science and geoecology. In 2010, we developed a density fractionation method for organic matter in soils using a Rotanta 460 RS cooled centrifuge and a Hielscher UP200S ultrasonic processor. A Seal AA3 Continuous Flow Analyzer (CFA, 2012) allows the determination of total dissolved nitrogen, ammonium, nitrate/nitrite and phosphate. In addition to the combined sieve-pipette method (after Köhn) we have the facility to continuously measure particle sizes <63 µm with a SediGraph III 5120 (Micromeritics) + Autosampler MasterTech MT 052 since 2013. After reconstruction in the western part of the lab an IRMS (Isoprime 100) coupled with an elemental analyzer (Isotope Cube) and a Pyro Cube (all machines from Elementar) was installed in 2017. Now we are able to determine also the stable isotopes of CHONS.


Besides our own research projects and laboratory courses for students, we offer a range of analyses and measurements for members of the faculty and external partners. There is sufficient workspace to carry out all types of geomorphological, pedological and geoecological analyses, as well as geoarchaeological and micromorphological studies.


Our micromorphology equipment comprises all work steps including sampling, sample preparation and analysis. A Uniprec Woco Top 250 A1 encapsulated diamond slitting disc and an encapsulated precision grinder (G&N MPS-RC Vacuum) are used to routinely produce high-precision 28x48 mm to 60x90 mm thin sections. A Zeiss Axio Imager.A2m polarization microscope, acquired in 2009, with additional features for circular-polarized light is used for routine analysis of thin sections. Since 2012, the Colibri.2 system additionally allows for coupled fluorescence microscopy.

Field equipment for drilling and sampling in all kinds of climates and environments is available and can be rented upon request (link).


Dr. Peter Kühn

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

Labor für Bodenkunde und Geoökologie

Rümelinstraße 19-23

72070 Tübingen

Tel.: +49 (0)7071-29-74896

Fax: +49-(0)7071-29-5391

Email: peter.kuehn(at)


Lab safety regulations (in German only): Sicheres Arbeiten in chemischen Laboratorien - GUV-Richtlinien (1,1 MB)