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Deadhorse (De)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Deadhorse- geoArea: 76 sq. km (0.4%)

The low hills and undulating terrain on plutonic rocks. mapped in Deadhorse land system, occur at low elevations close to the southern margin of the East Victorian Uplands and along some of the major river valleys.

Ridges are generally rounded and slopes are short as in the Dargo land system. However, the terrain is not influenced by local, base-level structures so that valley-floor, alluvial fills and lower slope, colluvial deposits, characteristic of Dargo land system, are rare.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Deadhorse- image
Forested slopes with outcropping granitic boulders
Deadhorse and Dargo land systems have similar parent rocks and climate but their soils are quite different. Deadhorse land system has more widespread. shallow, youthful. sandy soils. Deeper, more-developed soils frequently with duplex profiles do occur, though they are more common in Dargo land system. This difference may he due to more-intensive stripping of hillslopes by natural erosion processes in Deadhorse land system. Leaching has produced mildly- to moderately-acidic soils. The sandy topsoils are susceptible to sheet erosion and gullies tend to develop where the less-cohesive, gritty or sandy subsoils are disturbed.

Open forest II with a sparse understorey dominates: open forest I occurs on drier crests.

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

    Paleozoic granites. granodiorites, diorites and quartz-feldspar porphyries
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

    Low rounded hills and undulating terrain

    60 - 280
    60 - 180
    Mostly uncleared: hardwood forests (minor timber products); apiculture; bush grazing of cattle (limited)

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Gentle slopes sometimes with small sharp crests
Short slopes and ridges with scattered granite boulders
Major crests
Valley flats
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
10, (0 - 20)
Mainly convex
15 - 20, (0 - 40)
5 - 10, (0 - 20)
<5, (0 - 5)
Parent material
Granite, granodiorite, diorite and quartz-feldspar porphyry
Light and medium textured alluvium
Probably mozaic of shallow soils with dark loamy sand to sandy loam topsoil merging into brown or brownish yellow sand subsoil (probably most common) and moderately deep soils with dark sandy loam resting on mottled yellowish brown acid clay subsoil
Mostly undifferentiated grey to brown sand to sandy loam over stratified alluvium; may be gravelly
Earthy Sands, less commonly Yellow Podzolic Soils
Uc5.23, Uc5.21, Uc4.11, Dy3.21, Dy3.61
Alluvial Soils, Earthy Sands
Uc1.21, Uc5.2-, Uc5.23
Surface texture
Loamy sand to sandy loam
Sand to sandy loam
Surface consistence
Soft to slightly hard when dry, friable when moist
Soft to slightly hard when dry
Depth (m)
Shallow sandy soils: 0.3 - 0.6: duplex soils 0.6- 1.2
Nutrient status
Sandy soils: low: duplex soils: moderate
Low to moderate
Available soil water capacity
Perviousness to water
Sandy soils: rapid: duplex soils: slow
Moderate to rapid
Sandy soils: good: duplex soils: moderately good
Poor to good
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Open forest II:
E. globoidea, E. macrorhyncha or E. sieberi predominant with E. polyanthemos and/or E. cypellocarpa
Open forest I,11:
E. globoidea, E. macrorhyncha
or E. sieberi predominant with
E. polyanthemos and/or
E. cypellocarpa
Limited data — probably open forest II:
E. ovata+, E. polyanthemos+ or
E. bridgesiana+ occasionally with
E. globoidea and/or
E. cypellocarpa or E. radiata
Rare remnants of closed forest II with Rapanea howittiana, climbers. ferns and epiphytes

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 leachingNutrient loss1,2,3; low - moderateNot 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 erosion1,2,3; moderate - highUncommonClearing, logging, burning, 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
1.2.3: moderate - high
Loss of organic matter from topsoil

As for sheet and rill erosion above

Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
Increased soil break-upGully erosion

1.2,3; moderate
4; moderate

As for sheet and rill erosion above

As for sheet and rill erosion above
Increased sediment load.

Increased sediment load and turbidity
Comments: -
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