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Gormandale (Gd)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Gormandale- geoArea: 296 sq. km (1.5%)

This land system is confined to the northern slopes of the Baragwanath Anticline, along the steeper land near the Rosedale Monocline. The hills and slopes mostly occur on very sandy and often lateritised Tertiary materials but localized variation in texture is not uncommon. Although the sands are suitably sized for aeolian transport most of the land forms have formed through erosion by water.

Springs and seepage areas occur in the lower tracts of fluvial corridors, the larger of which are mapped in Sandy land system.

Under the high rainfall, acidic soils, usually with black and dark brown, cemented layers (coffee-rock) at depth, have developed where the depth of sand is greater than 0.5 m. Sometimes the brown, sandy, subsoil layer is not cemented. Where clay underlies the sand cover at less than about 0.5 m depth, it is common to find acidic duplex soils with yellow, mottled clay subsoils. The soils are droughty and infertile.

The vegetation in uncleared areas is mostly ferny or heathy woodland I and II with shrubby woodland I and II in alluviated valley floors. Similar vegetation probably once covered the cleared land.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Gormandale- image
Deep, white sands with coffee rock, now being used for pine growing, are common in Gormandale land system.

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

Annual 700 - 1200; lowest January (30 - 60), 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 sands, often lateritic
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Hills and slopes on the northern flanks of the Baragwanath Anticline

20 - 320
20 - 60
PRESENT LAND USEApproximately half the area uncleared: some areas in Holey Plains State Park; apiculture (limited)
Cleared portion: softwood forestry; grazing of beef cattle and sheep on both native and improved pastures

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Crests, slopes and low hills
Valley flats
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
5 - 10, (0 - 15)
Variable, predominantly concave or convex
3, (0 - 5)
Parent material
Windblown and colluvial sand over highly variable substrata, usually
older weathered clay, gravel or lateritic material
Colluvium and alluvium
Mostly deep sand with whitish subsurface and brown or black and brown
hardpan (coffee rock) or nodular concretions at depth; lighter coloured
sand below. Occasionally shallow dark and grey sand overlies yellow
mottled acidic clay subsoil
Limited observations — probably deep sand with black and brown hardpan including coffee rock; deep undifferentiated sand
Podzols, some Yellow Podzolic Soils
Uc2.31 and Uc2.36 common; also Uc2.21, Uc2.32, Uc2.34, Uc4.32, Dy5.21
Podzols, Alluvial Soils
Uc2.36, Uc1.2
Surface texture
Surface consistence
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Available soil water capacity
Perviousness to water
Mostly somewhat excessive
Poor to somewhat poor
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
70, see also Nicholson (1978) Profile 758
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Ferny or heathy woodland I, II:
Species composition and predominance variable — frequently one or more of E. consideniana, E. nitida and E. viminalis var. racemosa,
often with Banksia serrata, E. dives, E. cephalocarpa,
E. globoidea and E. muellerana occur less commonly
Limited data — similar to Sandy land system, component 3

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 loss
    1; high
    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

    Increased wind velocity over soil and increased detachment of sand
    Sheet and rill erosion

    Wind erosion
    1; moderate – high

    1; moderate - high
    Uncommon: severe in localised areas

    Uncommon: limited to cleared areas
    Clearing, softwood logging, road and dam building and other earth-moving activities, rabbit burrowing, trafficking by stock and vehicles.

    As for sheet and rill erosion above
    Increased run-on and sedimentation in lower areas

    Encroachment by sand
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction


    Reduced infiltration
    Structure decline

    Sheet and rill erosion
    1,2; low

    1; moderate - high

    Uncommon: severe in localised areas
    Increased trafficking export of organic matter

    As for sheet and rill erosion above

    Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased soil break-up

    Increased loosening of sand
    Gully erosion

    Wind erosion
    1; high
    2; moderate

    1; moderate - high
    Uncommon: severe local occurrences

    Uncommon: limited to cleared areas
    As for sheet and rill erosion above

    As for sheet and rill erosion above
    Increased sediment load in streams and sedimentation in lower areas

    Encroachment by sand
    Comments: A single season's rainfall can cause quite severe gullying in unprotected roadside drains or in wheel ruts along tracks
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