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

Victorian Resources Online

Stratford (Sd)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Stratford- geoArea: 33 sq. km (0.2%)

Changes have occurred in the stability of some rivers resulting in alterations to stream form. The changes seem to have occurred since European settlement along rivers where dams, capable of flood control, do not exist upstream, and where the alluvial materials are sandy. The initiating cause is unclear. Change in stream form is most obvious along the Avon River where lateral migration and active streambank erosion have occurred and a new sandy or gravelly terrace level is being constructed. The river has acquired a considerable bedload from the eroding banks and a braided condition has developed. The terraces and braiding channels are mapped in Stratford land system.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Stratford- image
The gravelly bed and braided channels of the Avon River near Stratford
The only `soils' in Stratford land system are the sands on the terraces. Many of these have not undergone significant pedological development since deposition and are likely to be shifted by strong flows before soil development can take place. In some parts, however, the surfaces have become darker due to accumulation of organic matter. The non-terrace areas are characterised by gravel and moving water. Wind erosion may occur on the sandy soils but the presence of moisture at shallow depth tends to reduce their susceptibility. Streambank erosion is a natural feature though this mainly affects the adjacent Maffra 1, 2 or Valencia land systems.

The area now supports a shrubby grassland of mixed native and exotic species.

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
Age, lithology

    Holocene alluvium, re-worked from older deposits
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

    Braiding river channels and sandy alluvial terraces

    0 - 5
    Braided meander channel
    Cleared: cattle grazing; gravel and sand extraction

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
Flood-sculptured sandy terraces
Gravelly, stony point bars and interchannel
Braided channels, including steep river banks
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
<2, (0 - 5)
Mainly convex and uneven
2, (0 - 5)
Mainly convex and uneven
<2, (0 - 5) steeply eroding banks
Parent material
Alluvial sand and minor gravel
Alluvial gravel
Undifferentiated stratified sand and gravelly
sand brown at the surface, greyish brown at
Undifferentiated gravels — no soils have
No soils
Alluvial Soils
Surface texture
Sand to loamy sand
Surface consistence
Soft when dry
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Very low
Available soil water capacity
Very low
Perviousness to water
Very rapid
Exposed stone (%)
Mostly 0
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and
characteristic species of
dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
(*Introduced species)
Shrubby grassland with scattered trees:
*Salix spp., Acacia mearnsii, Hymenanthera dentata, *Rubus spp, Phragmites communis and other grasses, Cyperaceae, and Juncaceae

    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 wind velocity over soil and increased detachment of sand
    Wind erosion
    1; moderate
    Uncommon; local occurrences
    Clearing, overgrazing, road building and other earth-moving activities, rabbit burrowing, trafficking by stock, humans and vehicles.
    Increased deposition of windblown sand
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction
    Structure decline
    1; very low
    Increased trafficking
    and export of organic
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased loosening of sand

    Increased soil break-up
    Wind erosion

    Scour erosion

    Streambank erosion
    1; moderate

    1,2,3; high

    3; high
    Uncommon: local occurrence

    Common: severe and widespread

    Common: severe and
    As for sheet and rill erosion

    As for sheet and rill Erosion

    As for sheet and rill erosion
    Increased deposition of windblown sand

    Increased sediment load in streams and sedimentation in lakes.

    Increased sediment load in streams and sedimentation in lakes.
    Comments: Since European settlement, floods have scoured out large areas of sandy alluvium and produced a wide anastomosing channel system with steep-sided, eroding streambanks
Page top