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Barrier (Br)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Barrier - geoArea: 78 sq. km (0.5%)

Dunes, sandy rises and sand sheets occur in inland positions. Some of these are old coastal dune and harrier systems were stranded following tectonic uplift, while others were built by inland aeolian activity. The scattered remnants of the old harriers and dunes are now much modified by dissection and deflation and, although obvious on aerial photos, are not always prominent in the field. Sometimes the steep, seaward dune faces have been retained, with wind deformation concentrated on the landward side, producing parabolic dunes. In the Seaspray-Dutson area, extended linear forms persist. The largest harrier and dune forms are mapped in this Barrier land system. The associated low dunes, sand sheets and rises are in Perry land system.

The soils are mostly acidic, infertile, and droughty sands, dark at the top and bleached in the subsurface. Iron and/ or humus-enriched, soil horizons, either hardpans or soft layers, occur at depth. The soils are susceptible to wind erosion.

The vegetation is mainly ferny woodland or ferny open woodland I and II, with heathy open woodland I on the deeper sands of upper slopes. Sedgeland occurs in swales with open forest I on the margin.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Barrier - image
Banksia serrata (saw banksia) and bracken growing on low sand ridges

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

Annual 500 - 800; lowest January (30 - 50), highest October (40 - 70)

Annual 12 - 14: lowest July (9 - 10). highest February (19 - 20)
Temperature <10C (av.): June - August
Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: November - March
Age, lithology

Pleistocene aeolian and coastal sand deposits
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Large linear and deformed parabolic dunes. sometimes originating from stranded coastal harriers

0 – 120
0 - 20
PRESENT LAND USEMostly uncleared: hardwood forestry (minor timber products); bush grazing of cattle (limited); apiculture (limited); small area in Moormurng Forest Park

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

    Percentage of land system
    Diagnostic features
Barrier beach-ridges
Parabolic dunes
    Slope %, typical and (range)
    Slope shape
5, (0 - 20)
Concave and convex
5, (0 - 15)
Concave and convex
<1, (0 - 2)
Straight and concave
    Parent material
Wind-sorted sand
Wind-sorted sand; possibly lacustrine silt and clay
Dark sand over pale or whitish sand over coffee rock or uncemented bright yellowish brown sand; yellow sand at depth
No observations
Podzols, Siliceous

Uc2.32, Uc2.36, Uc4.21, Uc4.22, Uc4.32, Uc4.33
Probably Gleyed Podzolic Soils; Humic Gleys
    Surface texture
    Surface consistence
Loose or soft
Loose or soft
    Depth (m)
    Nutrient status
Very low
Very low
    Available soil water capacity
Very low
Very low
    Perviousness to water
Very low
Very rapid
Somewhat excessive
Very poor to somewhat poor
    Exposed stone (%)
    Sampled profile number
    Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
    (+ Predominant species)
Mainly ferny or open woodland I, II: E. globoidea+ (usually clay at depth) or E. viminalis var. racemosa+, Pteridium esculentum and sometimes Banksia serrata Heathy open woodland I: E. nitida+, B. serrata
Mainly sedgeland with Lepyrodia muelleri+, Lepidosperma longitudinale. Schoenus brevifolius
Occasionally open heath of Leptospermum juniperinum
Margins with open forest I of E. ovata+ and/or E. cephalocarpa+

Affected process and trend
Primary resultant deterioration
Casual activities
Primary off-site process
Susceptibility of components
Incidence with components
    Alteration of vegetation:
    — reduction in leaf area, rooting depth and/or perenniality
    Reduced transpiration,
    resulting in increased
    deep percolation and
    Nutrient loss
1,2; high
3; low
    Not determined
Removal of trees
    Increased movement water to groundwater increased base-flow of streams
    Increased exposure of surface soil
    Increased wind velocity
    over soil and increased
    detachment of sand
    Wind erosion
12; high
    Uncommon locally on
    topographically exposed
Trafficking. overgrazing,
rabbit burrowing,
cultivating, earthmoving
    Encroachment by sand
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction
    Structure decline
1.2; very low
3: low - moderate
Increased trafficking
and cultivation.
overgrazing, export of
organic matter
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased loosening of
    Wind erosion
1.2; high
Trafficking, overgrazing,
rabbit burrowing.
cultivating, earthmoving
    Encroachment by sand
Comments: Regeneration of vegetative cover is usually slow because of droughty soils with low fertility.
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