Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Moe (Mo)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Moe- geoArea: 86 sq. km (0.5%)

Moe land system occurs on almost flat plains in the humid part of the Western Lowlands, mainly beside the Moe River, and in small areas further east. The plains were laid down in a formerly paludal situation in the Moe Sunklands.

Gleying and mottling are common in the deeper sediments and deep percolation is poor in contrast to that of the adjacent Trafalgar land system. Sources of the sediment include basic volcanics and Cretaceous rocks.

There is much evidence to suggest that the soils to the west of Moe township have been modified by artificial drainage. It seems that the flats were originally swampy with many substantial accumulations of peat. Channel construction lead to a fall in the water table and a reduction in waterlogging. The change to aerobic conditions which was exacerbated by cropping, oxidised much of the peat and organic matter in the topsoils. To the east of Moe, the plains are above the modern flood levels and peats may always have been absent. Most soils now have an accumulation of organic matter in the topsoil, uniform or gradational profiles and mottled subsoils.

The native vegetation, probably mainly an open forest II or III dominated by E. ovata, has been almost entirely cleared.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Moe- image
Ponding of water is common in depressions and poorly drained areas of the Moe River flood plain.

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

Annual 700 - 1200; lowest January or February (40 - 70), highest August or October (90 - 120)

Annual 12 - 14, lowest July (8 - 10), highest February (19 - 21)
Temperature <10C (av.): June - August
Rainfall < potential evapotranspiration: November – March
Age, lithology

Holocene sediments, mostly silts and clays
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Almost flat plains

20 - 80
0 - 5
PRESENT LAND USECleared: grazing of beef and dairy cattle on improved pastures: apiculture

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Very gently sloping plains
Almost flat or slightly depressed plains, poorer drainage
Slope %,typical and (range)
Slope shape
1 - 3, (1 - 5)
<1, (0 - 2)
Straight, some slightly concave
Parent material
Silt, clay and organic matter mostly deposited in a paludal environment
Very dark greyish brown to black silty loam to silty clay loam topsoil, sometimes quite peaty grading into black, grey to light yellowish brown, strongly mottled clay subsoil. Subsoil massive or blocky, sometimes with strong shrink/swell capacity; acidic to neutral. No water tables were found at less than 2 m depth in component 1; in component2, depth to water table was often less than 1 m in winter
Wiesenboden; Humic Gleys and some Acid Peats in component 2
Um4.25, Gn2.81, Gn2.84, Gn3.91, Gn4.64, Dy3.51, O
Surface texture
Silty loam to silty clay loam
Surface consistence
Friable to firm when moist
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Moderate to high
Available soil water capacity
Moderate to high
Perviousness to water
Poor to somewhat poor
Very poor
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and characteristic species of dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Open forest II, III:
E. ovata+, E. viminalis, sometimes with E. radiata associated
Open forest II, often shrubby:
Clearing has made it difficult to determine original species — probably mainly E. ovata+, often with understorey of Melaleuca ericifolia

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 raised groundwater table
    1,2; moderate - high
    Reduced plant-water use
    in the catchment
    Increased run-on and
    ponding in lowest areas
    Increased exposure of surface soil
    Increased overland flow and soil detachment
    Sheet and rill erosion
    1,2; very low
    Overgrazing, road
    building and other
    earth-moving activities,
    trafficking by stock and
    Increased flash flows
    and sediment load
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction


    Reduced infiltration
    Structure decline

    Sheet and rill erosion
    1,2: moderate - high

    1,2; very low

    Increased trafficking, cultivation, overgrazing, export of organic matter

    As for sheet and rill erosion above

    Increased flash flows
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased soil break-up
    Gully erosion

    Scour erosion
    1,2: very low

    2; very low

    As for sheet and rill erosion

    As for sheet and rill erosion above
    Increased sediment load

    Increased sediment load
    Comments: Local. significant losses of peat occur as a result of oxidation following drainage and cultivation
Page top