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Baldhead (Bd)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Bald Head - geoArea: 229 sq. km (1.1%)

Baldhead land system is restricted to the granites, granodiorites, gneissic-metamorphic and related coarsely-crystalline, plutonic rocks that occur mostly in the northern parts of the Eastern Victorian Uplands at relatively high elevation. Steep mountains with a ridge and-ravine pattern of dissection dominate, although some peaks are somewhat rounded. Small levees and alluvial flats, not extensive enough to map separately, occur occasionally along a few major streams, notably the La Trobe River. The area is similar in geology and topography to Blomford land system but is much more humid, with a corresponding difference in the vegetation and soils.

A cool climate, and high rainfall with parent rocks that weather relatively easily, have produced moderately deep, soils, even on steep slopes. Soils are well-aggregated, particularly in the upper profile, but in some places subsoils are apedal and earthy. They are moderately acidic and permeable.

Most of the area carries open forest III with a dense understorey which is layered on more protected aspects; lower, drier slopes carry open forest II.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Bald Head - image
A steep slope with Eucalyptus delegatensis
(alpine ash) forest.

Rainfall, mean (mm)Temperature, mean (C)
Seasonal growth limitations

Annual 900 - 1600; lowest January or February (50 - 90), highest August or September (120 - 180)

Annual 8 - 12; lowest July (3 - 7), highest February (16 - 20)
Temperature <10C (av.): April - October
Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: February; frequent winter snow
Age, lithology

Palaeozoic granites, granodiorites, gneissic metamorphics and related coarsely crystalline plutonic rocks
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Steep mountains with ridge-and-ravine topography

240 - 1360
100 - 680
PRESENT LAND USEMostly uncleared: hardwood forestry (general construction and ash timber); some bush grazing of cattle; apiculture; small areas part of Baw Baw National Park.

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Bald Head - csA study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Bald Head - graph

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Slopes with humid forest
(non ash species)
Slopes with drier forest, usually at lower
Protected slopes with humid ash forest
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
30 - 40, (10 - 60)
25 - 35. (10 - 60)
30 - 40, (10 - 60)
Parent Material
Granite. granodiorite and gneissic metamorphic rock
Often stony, very dark greyish brown sandy loam to sandy clay loam merging into reddish brown sandy clay loam to sandy clay. Soils in component 2 usually shallower and stonier
Gn2.11, Gn2.21, Um5.42, Um5.51
Black to very dark greyish brown sandy loam to sandy clay loam merging into brown or reddish brown sandy loam to clay loam: often stony. Generally deeper than in components 1 and 2
Brown and Red Earths, Lithosols
Brown and Red Earths
Um6.12, Um6.21, Um6.23, Gn2.11
Surface texture
Sandy loam to sandy clay loam
Surface consistence
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Low to moderate
Available soil water capacity
Perviousness to water
Exposed stone (%)
Very variable: 0 - 75
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and
characteristic species of
dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Shrubby open forest 11, III:
Pure or mixed stands of E. dives (often predominant),
E. cypellocarpa. E. obliqua, E. rubida. Minor occurrences of E. pauciflora at higher elevations in N.E.
E. viminalis in valleys
Open forest II:
E. sieberi generally predominant on mid- to upper slopes and crests: E. macrorhyncha, E. rubida. E. obliqua and
E. cypellocarpa associated. Minor occurrences of
F. pauciflora at higher elevations in N.E.
Open forest II. often layered:
Higher elevations — E. delegatensis
Lower elevations — E. regnans+ with or without
E. obliqua or E. rubida

Affected process and trend
Primary resultant deterioration
Causal activities
Primary off-site process
Susceptibility of components
Incidence within components
Alteration of vegetation:
— reduction in leaf area, rooting depth and/or perenniality
— reduction in density of tree roots
Reduced transpiration, resulting in:

a) increased deep percolation and leaching

b) increased infiltration and regolith wetness

Decreased root-binding

Nutrient loss

Landslip and/or soil creep

Soil creep

Not determined

1,2.3; low

12.3; moderate

Not determined



Removal of trees

Usually after the removal of trees from steeper land

Accelerated by clearing
of trees

Increased movement of water to groundwater:
increased base-flow of streams

Increased sediment load

Increased sediment load

Increased exposure of surface soilIncreased overland flow and soil detachmentSheet and rill erosion1,2,3; moderateUncommonClearing, logging,
burning, overgrazing, road and dam building and other earth-moving activities, rabbit burrowing, trafficking by stock and vehicles.
Increased flash flows
and sediment load.
Increased physical pressure on soilIncreased compaction


reduced infiltration
Structure decline

Sheet and rill erosion
1,3; moderate - high
2; low

1.2,3: moderate

Increased trafficking and cultivation, overgrazing, export of organic matter

As for sheet and rill
erosion above

Increased flash flows
Increased soil disruptionIncreased soil break-upGully erosion1,2.3: moderateUncommonAs for sheet and rill erosion aboveIncreased sediment load.
Comments: Good growing conditions generally result in quick regeneration of vegetative cover except on exposed sites at high elevation.
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