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Clifton (Cn)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Clifton- geoArea: 157 sq. km (0.8%)

Clifton land system occurs on Tertiary fan deposits along the margin of the East Victorian Uplands, with the largest area being to the north of Lakes Entrance. Almost flat. plateau remnants and dissected, low plateaux, with closely-spaced, small spurs protruding into the main drainage corridors are characteristic. A clayey plinthite underlies the surface and it outcrops in the gullies and other dissected areas. The major difference from Salt Creek, Anderson 1 and 2 and Stockdale land systems is that parts of the original plateau surface are preserved. Although deep sands do occur, duplex soils appear to dominate. Under the moderate to high rainfall the soils tend to he leached and acidic. Gully erosion is more likely in those areas with dispersive subsoils. On the deep sands a hardpan, probably siliceous, was observed but pans of coffee-rock are also to be expected. The vegetation on the sands indicates that they arc underlain by clay and/or that the nutrient status is not as low as on other leached deep sands.

Open forest II predominates and is often shrubby, particularly in drainage lines.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Clifton- image
An almost flat plateau remnant, typical of this land system, with an open forest of Eucalyptus sideroxylon (red ironbark), E. polyanthemos (red box) and stringybark species.

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

Annual 700-1200; lowest July or August (40 -
70), highest October (60 - 90)
Annual 12 - 14; lowest July (8 - 10), highest February (19 - 21)
Temperature <10C (av.): May - September
Rainfall <potential evapotranspiration: November – March
Age, lithology

Tertiary fan and colluvial apron deposits; unconsolidated gravels, sands, silts and clays (Sale Group)
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Dissected remnants of a Tertiary land surface

80 - 300
10 - 80
PRESENT LAND USEMostly uncleared: hardwood forestry (sleepers, poles and minor products); apiculture; small areas set aside for nature conservation within Glenmaggie Flora and Fauna Reserve; bush grazing of cattle (very limited) Minor proportion cleared: grazing of cattle and sheep; softwood plantations

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Almost flat plateau remnants with
deep surface sands
Almost flat plateau remnants with
duplex soils
Broken slopes and small closely
spaced steep spurs; deep duplex
Valley flats
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
2 - 5, (0 - 10)
2 - 5. (0 - 10)
10 - 15, (5 - 30)
Convex but variable
1. (0 - 5)
Concave but variable
Parent material
Clay, silt, sand and gravel
Alluvium: mostly lighter textures
Limited observations — deep greyish brown sand. may have hardpan at depth; may be gravelly
Sand to sandy loam topsoil resting abruptly on yellowish brown acidic blocky clay subsoil
Mainly undifferentiated brown sandy loam over mottled substrata, sometimes of heavier texture
Topsoil dark grey, subsoil strongly mottled
Topsoil brown or greyish brown, sometimes minor mottling in subsoil
Siliceous Sands and/or Podzols
Yellow Podzolic Soils
Dy3.21. Dy3.41, Dy3.42
Yellow and Brown Podzolic Soils
Dy2.41. Dy3.21, Db1.21
Alluvial Soils
Uc1.41, Uc1.43, Uc5.23
Surface texture
Sand to sandy loam, sometimes gravelly
Sandy loam
Surface consistence
Soft when dry
Mainly soft to slightly hard when dry
Very friable when moist
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Low to moderate
Low to moderate
Available soil water capacity
Perviousness to water
Moderate to rapid
Somewhat poor
Moderately good
Somewhat poor to good
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Limited data — probably mainly open forest II of mixed species including E. sieberi. E. globoidea, E. muellerana
Open forest II, Mixed forests with E. sieberi or E. globoidea predominant; E. cypellocarpa, F. sideroxylon. E. polyanthemos. L. bridgesiana and E. macrorhyncha associated
Often shrubby: Mixed forests with E. globoidea predominant; E. cypellocarpa, E. bosistoana. E. polyanthemos associated
Shrubby open forest II or shrubby woodland II: Composition variable — E. polyanthemos or E. ovata usually predominant; E. obliqua sometimes associated.
Melaleuca spp. and/or Leptospermum
spp. dominate the understorey

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 leaching
Nutrient loss1; high
2.3; low
Not determinedRemoval of treesIncreased movement of water to groundwater: increased base-flow of streams
    Increased exposure of surface soil
Increased overland flow and soil detachmentSheet and rill erosion1; very low
2: low
3: moderate
Uncommon; local occurrence on cleared landClearing, 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 soil
Increased compaction


reduced infiltration
Structure decline

Sheet and rill erosion
1,2,3,4; low
1; very low

2; low
3; moderate
Uncommon; local occurrence on cleared land

Uncommon: local occurrence on cleared land
Increased trafficking cultivation, overgrazing, export of organic matter

As for sheet and rill erosion above

Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
Increased soil break-upGully erosion1: very low
2: low
3: moderate
Uncommon; local occurrenceAs for sheet and rill erosion aboveIncreased sediment load.
    Comments: -
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