Soilinsight® Evaluation of soil

New research publication available

SOILINSIGHT® developed by the LSE laboratory of the Université de Lorraine and distributed by UGT proposes a new approach based on non-destructive observation of the soil. Watteau et al. 2019 create videos of the structural dynamics of the soil (

For more information please refer to following publication:

Watteau, F., Jangorzo, N. S., Schwartz, C. (2019) A micromorphological analysis for quantifying structure descriptors in a young constructed Technosol. Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana 71, 1, 11-20.

What does the SOILINSIGHT® measure?

The SOILINSIGHT® repeatedly records pictures of a soil chamber. The comparison between the pictures provides information about structural changes of the soil. Thus, the SOILINSIGHT® allows a non destructive observation of the soil, its structure and its flora and fauna.

Views of the constructed Technosol. 1: Soilinsight® image of the glazed face at 5 months; 2 and 3: magnified Soilinsight®- images showing roots at different growth stages and earthworms, respectively; 4: thin section of constructed Technosol. e: earthworm; d: earthworm dejection; g: gravel; m: mineral; n: node; om: organic matter; or: older root; p: pore; r: root; yr: young root. Photo credit: Watteau et al. 2019

What is the SOILINSIGHT® used for?

Observations of structural changes provide information about the causes and the dimensions of these changes. When observing root systems, information about the mass increase, growth rates, root distribution, root characteristics (e.g. number of fine roots) or about the structure of macro pores can be obtained. Furthermore, the effects of different cultivation methods or other environmental factors on root growth can be investigated. Those research questions are especially of high importance for climate change or agricultural system studies. Wormholes, development stages or size of soil organism as well as the distribution and dimension of fungi and parasites can be observed. When studying the soil flora and fauna, the distribution, state and influence on the soil structure and on root growth can be observed and evaluated.

Soilinsight® (top); handle (left); park-rack (right) photo credit: UGT GmbH

How does the SOILINSIGHT® work?

The back of the soil chamber is transparent and thus allows the observation of the soil chamber. The back of the soil chamber is attached to the scanner, which takes a picture on a regular interval or by manual operation. The pictures a stored on a connected computer, which is also used to control the experiment via a windows based computer software. The pictures can be graphically evaluated using windows based evaluation software. The soil chamber is open at the top that the soil surface can be planted and irrigated. A tube at the bottom enables the outflow of seepage water.