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Sandy (Sy)

A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Sandy - geoArea: 41 sq. km (0.2%)

All drainage depressions in the Eastern lowlands and Baragwanath Anticline in which sandy alluvium dominates have been mapped in Sandy land system, except for areas with braided channels which are mapped in Stratford land system. This is consequently a very variable land system and most variation is dealt with on a component basis. All components are not always present in any one occurrence of the land system due to differences between streams. Streams have low gradients and at least two terrace levels, except on the Baragwanath Anticline where the downstream slopes are greater. Here there are also springs and seepage areas on the lower slopes.

Sandy soils dominate and those above normal flood levels are weakly podzolised with somewhat bleached subsurface horizons and brown subsoils which may be cemented and nodular. In lower lying parts subject to flooding the sands generally are younger with little profile differentiation beyond humus accumulation in the surface. There are some clayey parent materials and these can also differ in degree of soil development depending on flood regime. Duplex soils develop in non-inundated, better-drained areas. In areas which are poorly drained or seasonally flooded, soil development is limited to surface darkening and subsoil mottling. Wind erosion appears to be the main hazard on the sandy soils, as slopes are generally too gentle and soils too permeable for sheet erosion by water. However, the permeable soils are susceptible to leaching.

The vegetation is mainly woodland I or II, often shrubby or ferny.
A study of the land in the Catchment of Gippsland Lakes - Vol 2 - land system Sandy - image
A higher level terrace adjacent to the Perry River

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 sandy alluvium; minor Tertiary gravels, sands and clays
Elevation range (m)
Relative relief (m)
Drainage pattern
Drainage density (km/km2)

Drainage floors with predominantly sandy alluvium

20 - 120
5 - 20
Meander channel
PRESENT LAND USEMostly cleared: grazing of cattle and sheep on unimproved pastures; softwood plantations (limited)
Minor proportion uncleared: apiculture; bush grazing (limited); small area in the Holey Plains State Park

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

Percentage of land system
Diagnostic features
High-level linear terraces only
inundated by very high floods
Lower, narrow modern flood plains
Drainage areas sometimes with seepage zones
Slope %, typical and (range)
Slope shape
1, (0- 2)
1, (0- 2)
1- 2, (0- 3)
Parent material
Sandy alluvium
Deep black sand over greyish brown subsurface
soil; dark brown sand or nodular coffee rock
subsoil; often strongly acidic throughout
Variable; little differentiated sand to sandy
clay loam, black to dark brown at the surface,
greyish brown to light yellowish brown at
depth; sometimes mottled
Limited observations — variable; sandy
soils as in component 1; also dark greyish
brown sandy loam over greyish brown mottled
sandy loam with abrupt change to blocky
yellowish brown clay subsoil
Incipient Podzols, Siliceous Sands
Uc2.36, Uc4.23, Uc4.24
Alluvial Soils
Ucl.21, Uc5.23, Um1.41
Incipient Podzols, Yellow Podzolic Soils
Uc2.31, Uc4.- , also Dy2.2-
Surface texture
Loamy sand
Loamy sand to sandy or silty clay loam
Sand to sandy loam
Surface consistence
Soft when dry
Soft when dry
Soft when dry
Depth (m)
Nutrient status
Very low
Very low to low
Very low to low
Available soil water capacity
Very low
Very low to moderate
Very low to moderate
Perviousness to water
Very rapid
Slow to very rapid
Slow to very rapid
Somewhat poor to good
Somewhat poor to good
Exposed stone (%)
Sampled profile number
Structure of vegetation and
characteristic species of
dominant stratum
(+ Predominant species)
Ferny or shrubby woodland II:
E. consideniana+ or E. viminalis var. racemosa+
Limited data — probably woodland II or open forest II, often shrubby with E. globoidea+ or with E. ovata+ and E. tereticornis
Mainly shrubby woodland I, II:
Species include E. radiata+, E. bridgesiana+ and E. ovata Occasionally closed forest I, II:
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 increased deep percolation and leaching
    Nutrient loss
    1; high
    2; moderate
    3; variable, low - 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; high
    2; low - moderate
    3; low
    Clearing, burning, overgrazing, road building and other earth-moving activities, rabbit burrowing, trafficking by stock and vehicles.
    Encroachment by sand
    Increased physical pressure on soil
    Increased compaction
    Structure decline
    1,3; low
    2; low - moderate
    Increased trafficking, cultivation, overgrazing, export of organic matter
    Increased soil disruption
    Increased soil break-up

    Increased loosening of sand
    Gully erosion

    Wind erosion
    1,2; very low
    3; moderate

    1; high
    2; low - moderate
    3; low

    As for wind erosion above

    As for wind erosion above
    Increased sediment load

    Encroachment by sand
    Comments: -
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