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Drumborg Land System


Drumborg Land System Figure 48 (PDF - 192KB)
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Just to the north of Heywood and rising about 450 feet above it is Mount Eckersley, a volcanic hill composed of lava, cinders and tuff. It merges into surrounding rolling areas which are sharply defined from the flat Heywood land-system on the south and east but which themselves merge into the Cobbobboonee land-system on the north and west. Mount Eckersley and its surrounding rolling areas constitute the Drumborg land-system.

This land-ystem is closely associated with the Cobbobboonee land-ystem and could logically have been mapped as a sub-system of the latter because Mount Eckersley is essentially similar in character to smaller volcanic hills, such as Mount Kincaid, in the Cobbobboonee land-system. It is sufficiently extensive however, to warrant being mapped separately at this scale of survey.

On Mount Eckersley itself, there are steep concave slopes and the chief soils are reddish and normal chocolate soils, frequently thin, and with lava sometimes exposed at the surface. According to local residents the original vegetation, very little of which remains, was a tall woodland of manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) with scrubs of she-oak (Casuarina stricta) on the drier and stonier sites. This vegetation resembles that originally described by Mitchell (1839) for Mount Napier, which is another volcanic cone of lava, cinders and tuff.

The chief soils of the rolling areas surrounding the hill are krasnozems or transitional krasnozems. The latter however, are not the Sherburn series but are developed on previously-weathered red clay, as are also a minority of the transitional krasnozems in the Cobbobboonee land-ystem. In depressions and in the concave drainage lines, are prairie soils. No analyses have been made of soils from this land-system but similar soils from nearby have moderate levels of nutrients and good water-holding capacity. Original vegetation on the rolling areas was probably a dry sclerophyll forest of manna gum, peppermint (E. vitrea) and some swamp gum (E. ovata) with swamp gum predominating in the low or wet sites. Some of this vegetation remains.

Where the land was cleared it was used for Merino wool growing and is now used for Merino and cross-bred wool growing. Most parts are probably capable of supporting cross-bred wool growing with fat lambs or beef cattle raising.

The climate favours a good vegetative cover but steep slopes create an erosion hazard, both because the soil and herbage dry off more quickly and because the run-off can accumulate with greater volume and velocity. There is a moderate gully erosion hazard therefore on the slopes around Mount Eckersley and this is manifested particularly along roadsides.

In brief, the Drumborg land-system is a volcanic hill with surrounding rolling country composed of lava, cinders and tuff, giving rise to moderately fertile soils and carrying a forest of manna gum mainly. It is capable of moderately intensive grazing and the steeper parts have an erosion hazard particularly along roadsides.

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