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Salt Creek (SC)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Salt Creek - geoArea: 194 sq. km (1.0%)

Salt Creek land system occurs in the main rain-shadow area of the lowlands to the east of Lake Glenmaggie, on hills and Eastern steep slopes cut into Tertiary and Pleistocene deposits. It is usually found along incised drainage lines but it also includes the dissected coastal edge of the Pleistocene plains mapped in Redgum 1 land system. The rounded hills with moderate slopes and a broad dissection pattern are similar to those in Anderson 1 and 2 and Stockdale land systems. However the vegetation of Anderson 1 or 2 does not contain redgums and in Stockdale the parent materials are sandier.

Clayey parent materials and duplex soils dominate and significant amounts of quartz gravels may occur in the upper horizons. Due to low rainfall and the lack of leaching the subsoils are commonly neutral to slightly alkaline at depth and may be susceptible to gullying. Some areas of deep sands occur.

The native vegetation, now almost entirely removed, was a grassy open forest II of E. tereticornis, sometimes accompanied by E. globoidea on areas of higher elevation, higher rainfall or better drainage.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Salt Creek - image
Low rounded spurs produced by dissection of the Tertiary plateau

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

    Annual 500 - 800; lowest July (30 - 50), highest October (50 - 80)

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

    Mainly
    Tertiary but some Pleistocene colluvial and alluvial deposits of gravels, sands, silts, clays; minor marine limestones (Seaspray Group)
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Landscape
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

    Hilly terrain or short relatively steep marginal slopes

    0 - 120
    10 - 60
    Dendritic
    1.7
PRESENT LAND USE
    Cleared: grazing of sheep and beef cattle on improved pastures

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

LAND COMPONENT
Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
1
50
Short, steep slopes,
often gravelly; minor cliffs
2
20
Gentle slopes
3
10
Drainage depressions
4
10
Steep slopes on limestone
in lower parts of deep
valleys
\ -
Fans da10
dudror1
PHYSIOGRAPHY
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
10 - 20, (10 - 50)
Straight
3 - 5, (1 - 10)
Concave
2, (0 - 5)
Straight to concave
12 - 18, (10 - 40)
Straight or convex
10 - j
Conca,e21
SOIL
Parent material
Gravel, sand, silt and clay
Alluvium
Limestone
Variable colluvium
Description
Dark greyish brown loamy sand to sandy clay loam topsoil, often gravelly; abrupt change to yellowish brown or reddish brown, blocky structured clay subsoil
Limited observations —
pr over mottled greyish loam
brown clay
Dark reddish brown clay loam to clay over red blocky alkaline clay; may be gravelly
Variable: includes deep pale coloured sands and mottled yellowish brown duplex soils
Classification
Soloths, Solodic Soils
Dy2.21, Dy2.42, Dy3.21, Dy3.41, Dr3.21
Humic Gleys
Terra Rossa Soils
Earthy Sands, Solodic Soils
Uc4.11, Dy3.22
Surface texture
Loamy sand to sandy clay loam
Probably silty loam to
silty clay loam
Clay loam to clay
Variable
Surface consistence
Mostly slightly hard when dry, but hard for heavier soils
-
Friable to firm when moist
Variable
Depth (m)
>2.0
>2.0
0.3 - 1.0
>2.0
Nutrient status
Low to moderate
Low
Moderate
Variable
Available soil water capacity
Low
High
Moderate
Variable
Perviousness to water
Slow
Rapid
Moderate
Variable
Drainage
Mostly moderately good
Mostly poor
Good
Variable
Exposed stone (%)
0
0
0
0
Sampled profile number
-
62, 63
-
13
-
NATIVE VEGETATION
Structure of vegetation and
characteristic species of
dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Grassy open forest II:
Mostly E. tereticornis+, occasionally E. globoidea+ (better drained sites) or E. polyanthemos+; E. cypellocarpa and E. bridgesiana localities associated in some
Grassy open forest II: Limited data — probably E. tereticornis+
Clearing has made it difficult to determine if any other tree species predominant or associated

    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 and leaching
    Nutrient loss
    1,2,4,5; low
    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; high
    2,5; moderate
    3; low
    4; moderate - high
    Common: on cleared
    land
    Clearing, cultivation, burning, overgrazing, 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

    With

    Reduced infiltration
    Structure decline



    Sheet and rill erosion
    1,2,5; low
    3; high
    4; moderate

    1; high
    2,5; moderate
    3; low
    4; moderate - high
    Uncommon



    Common: on cleared land
    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
    1; moderate - high
    2; moderate
    3,4,5; low
    Uncommon: but with severe local occurrences
    As for sheet and rill erosion above
    Increased sediment load.
    Comments: -
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