The Nebraska Vadose Zone program standardizes collection, processing, analysis, and sharing of vadose zone monitoring data. A quality assurance project plan template, standard operating procedures, training videos and select publications are available as guidance for those wishing to establish or enhance a vadose zone monitoring program.

Vadose Zone Monitoring Guide

Includes an overview of the vision, mission, scope and processes of the vadose zone monitoring program.

Monitoring Guide (PDF)

Drilling Rig
Drill rig preparing to take vadose zone soil core in corn field



Quality Assurance Project Plan

Details quality assessment procedures which you are welcome to utilize to support your project. The QAPP template was made to follow the Checklist of EPA Requirements for QA Project Plans (QA/R-5) (EPA, 2001a).

Note: Attachments 2-4 are provided here. Attachment 1 of the QAPP Template is the project scope of work or funded final proposal. This will vary by project and must be provided by the user of the QAPP template.

Measure water Table depth
Measuring water table depth in borehole after extracting core



Standard Operating Procedures

Provides systematic, standards methods to use from start-to-finish in a vadose zone monitoring program.

For collecting and processing soil cores for vadose zone monitoring:

lab analysis
Physical analysis of soil core at Water Sciences Laboratory

For physical and chemical analysis of vadose zone cores in laboratory settings:

Analysis of herbicides in solid samples by microwave-assisted solvent extraction (MASE) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) -001, issue 002
Microwave Assisted Acid Digestion for Elemental Analysis by ICP-MS-001, 19_01_02
Analysis of Dissolved Trace Elements in Aqueous Solutions by ICP-MS-001, 19_01_01


For formatting and organizing historic and present vadose zone monitoring data to include in the Nebraska Vadose database:

Data Reduction SOP (in development)
Assigning Core Location SOP Download


Watch demonstrations of standard soil core collection, field measurement, sample preparation, and laboratory analysis.

  • Field Work Training Video (in development)
  • Laboratory Analysis Training Video (in development)