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Freestone (Fr)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Freestone- geoArea: 17 sq. km (0.1%)

Towards the end of the period when the later Pleistocene terrace materials were being deposited, a small preliminary drop in base level, probably caused by a eustatic movement, seems to have occurred. Freestone land system is mapped on this lower planation surface. whereas remnants of the alluvial outwash fans, are mapped in the Briagalong land system. Materials are broadly similar to those of Briagolong land system but the soils are slightly younger and the alluvium often contains coarse, subangular gravels.

Most of the surficial alluvial deposits are clays and silts. The dominant soils are relatively young. reddish and uniformly textured with alkaline subsoils. The reddish colours may be the result of good deep percolation or be inherited from the parent alluvium. In the poorly-drained, yellowish soils of low-lying areas, it is probable that little soil formation beyond organic matter accumulation and mottling has taken place.

The native vegetation, probably grassy open forest II dominated by E. tereticornis, has been almost entirely cleared.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Freestone- imageThe flat terrain in the foreground is typical of Freestone land system; Redgum 2 land system is in the background at a higher elevation

CLIMATE
Temperature, mean (C)
Seasonal growth limitations

    Annual 12 - 14; lowest July (8 - I0), highest February (19 - 21)

    Temperature <10C (av.): June - August
    Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: November – March
GEOLOGY
Age, lithology

    Upper
    Pleistocene alluvial outwash terrace of gravels, sands, minor silts and clays
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Landscape
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

    Alluvial plain

    20 - 60
    0 - 5
    Undeveloped
    0.3
PRESENT LAND USE
    Cleared: mostly grazing of beef and dairy cattle on irrigated, improved pastures; some cropping; apiculture

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

LAND COMPONENT
Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
1
80
Gently undulating plains
2
20
Channels. swales and depressed areas
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
<5, (0 - 10)
Straight or slightly convex
1, (0 - 51
Concave
SOIL
Parent material
Alluvium, probably mainly medium- and fine-textured: some gravel
Description
Limited observations — reddish with somewhat lighter coloured
subsurface (A,) horizons: uniform, medium or fine textures. Gravelly
subsoil may be typical
No observations — probably mainly mottled greyish brown fine textured:
likely to he inundated at times by run-off
Classification
Red Earths
Um5.52
Wiesenboden probably
-
Surface texture
Probably loam to clay loam
Probably clay loam to clay
Surface consistence
Slightly hard to hard when dry
Firm when moist
Depth (m)
>2.0
>2.0
Nutrient status
Moderate
Moderate
Available soil water capacity
Moderate
Moderate
Perviousness to water
Slow to moderate
Slow
Drainage
Moderately good to good
Very poor to poor
Exposed stone (%)
0
0
Sampled profile number
-
-
NATIVE VEGETATION
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Probably mainly grassy open forest II of E. tereticornis
Clearing has made it difficult to determine if any other predominant or associated tree species

Disturbance
Affected process and trend
Primary resultant deterioration
Casual activities
Primary off-site process
Form
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
    Nutrient loss
    Not determined
    Not determined
    Removal of trees
    Increased movement of water to groundwater: increased base-flow of streams
    Increased exposure of surface soil
    Increased overland flow and soil detachment
    Sheet and rill erosion
    1: low
    Uncommon
    Cultivating, overgrazing, road building and other earth-moving activities, trafficking by stock and vehicles.
    Increased flash flows and sediment load.
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction

    With

    reduced infiltration
    Structure decline



    Sheet and rill erosion
    1; moderate
    2; high


    1; low
    Uncommon



    Uncommon
    Increased trafficking, cultivation, overgrazing, export of organic matter

    As for sheet and rill
    erosion above
    -



    Increased ponding of water
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased soil break-up
    Gully erosion
    1: low
    2: low. but high in channels
    Uncommon, except in
    minor channelled areas
    As for sheet and rill
    erosion above
    Increased sediment load.
    Comments: -
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