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Kirchubel (Kl)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Kirchubel- geoArea: 287 sq. km (1.4%)

In the west of the uplands precipitous mountain slopes with a high rainfall and vigorous vegetative growth are mapped in Kirchubel land system. These slopes flank the major plateaux on granodiorite, for example Mount Baw Baw and the Toorongo Plateau, and result from differential erosion, although faulting may be involved in places.

A cool climate, high rainfall and a parent rock that weathers relatively easily have produced deep soils, even on steep slopes. Active weathering of iron-bearing minerals, combined with leaching and a high production of organic matter have resulted in well-aggregated soils with a crumb or fine blocky structure in the upper horizons; subsoils are usually apedal with an earthy fabric. The soils are moderately acidic and permeable. Mica and feldspar are often abundant in the deep subsoil and hence soils are relatively fertile despite leaching. Steep slopes are susceptible to sheet erosion once disturbed but vertical slopes, such as road batters, do not slump due to the excellent soil drainage. The well-structured topsoils are sensitive to compaction.

The vegetation is mainly layered open forest III or IV, with open forest II on more exposed slopes.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Kirchubel- imageA long, steep slope, typical of Kirchubel land system, on the southern side of Mount Toorongo.

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

    Annual 900 - 1600; lowest January or February (60 - 90), highest August or October (120 - 150)

    Annual 8 - 12; lowest July (3 - 7), highest February (16 - 20)
    Temperature <10C (av.): April - October
    Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: February; frequent winter snow
GEOLOGY
Age, lithology

    Devonian; Baw Baw and Toorongo Granodiorites, Tynong Granite and associated metamorphics
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Landscape
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

    Long, precipitous mountain slopes with very high relief and ridge-and-ravine topography

    240 - 1180
    200 - 720
    Dendritic
    0.5
PRESENT LAND USE
    Mostly uncleared: hardwood forestry (mainly ash timber); apiculture; small areas in Baw Baw National Park

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

LAND COMPONENT
Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
1
55
Long, very steep sheltered slopes
2
40
Long, steep, more-exposed slopes
3
5
Drainage corridors
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
40 - 50, (30 - 70)
Straight
30 - 50, (15 - 70)
Straight
-, (0 - 5)
Straight
SOIL
Parent material
Granodiorite, granite and associated metamorphic rock
Alluvium
Description
Black sandy loam to sandy clay loam merging
into red or brown sandy clay loam to sandy
clay; deep; subsoils often fine blocky
structured, sometimes apedal
Very dark to black sandy loam to sandy clay
loam merging into red or brown sandy clay loam
to sandy clay; mainly deep. Maybe somewhat
stony; subsoil structure as in component 1
Limited observations — probably variable;
fine to coarse textured, sometimes gravelly
Classification
Red and Brown Earths/Krasnozems, Lithosols
Gn2.21, Gn2.11, Gn3.11, Gn4.11, Gn4.10, Um5.52,
Um6.12, Um7.11
Red and Brown Earths/Krasnozems, minor Lithosols
Gn4.11, Gn4.31, Gn2.11, Um5.51
Alluvial Soils
Uc5.21, Uf1.41
Surface texture
Sandy loam to sandy clay loam
Sandy loam to sandy clay loam
Sandy loam to sandy clay
Surface consistence
Soft
Soft
Soft
Depth (m)
>2.0
>1.5
Variable
Nutrient status
Low to moderate
Low to moderate
Available soil water capacity
Moderate
Moderate
Perviousness to water
Rapid
Rapid
Drainage
Good
Often waterlogged
Exposed stone (%)
<10
0
Sampled profile number
-
35
-
NATIVE VEGETATION
Structure of vegetation and
characteristic species of
dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Layered open forest II, IV:
E. regnans+ with or without E. obliqua and
E. cypellocarpa; E. nitens occasionally
predominant. Nothofagus cunninghamii
associated in higher rainfall areas
Open forest II, often shrubby:
Pure or mixed stands of E. obliqua,
E. sieberi, E. cypellocarpa, E. baxteri
Layered open forest III, IV:
E. regnans+; E. viminalis+ (at lower
elevations)

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




    — reduction in density of tree roots
Reduced transpiration,
resulting in:

a) increased deep
percolation







b) increased regolith
wetness



Decreased root-binding




Nutrient loss







Landslip and soil creep



Soil creep




Not determined








1,2; moderate




12; moderate




Not determined







Not determined




Not determined




Removal of trees







Usually after the removal of native vegetation



Usually after the removal of native vegetation




Increased movement of water to groundwater; increased base-flow of streams




Increased sediment load



Increased sediment load

    Increased exposure of surface soil
Increased overland flow and soil detachmentSheet and rill erosion1,2; highNot determinedClearing, logging, burning, road building and other earth-moving
activities
Increased flash flows and sediment load.
    Increased physical pressure on soil
Increased compaction

With

Reduced infiltration
Structure decline


Sheet and rill erosion
1,2,3; moderate - high


1,2; high
Not determined



Not determined
Increased trafficking, export of organic matter

As for sheet and rill
erosion above
-



Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
Increased soil break-upGully erosion1,2; high
    3; low
Not determinedAs for sheet and rill
    erosion above
Increased sediment load.
Comments: Regeneration of vegetative cover is quite rapid because of good growing conditions
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