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Gully erosion

What is it?

Gully erosion is the removal of soil along drainage lines by runoff water. They usually start as nick points in a drainage line. Then they continue to move by head-ward erosion and by slumping of the side walls. Usually they will continue to erode unless some for of stabilisation is used. More information is given at introduction to gully erosion and at gully initiation and development.

Land degradation - An example of gully erosion


Gullies interfere with land topography. They increase the rate of drainage and drying of catchments. They physically dissect land and thus restrict stock and vehicle movement. They provide a harbour for weeds and pests. They provide copious quantities of sediment to streams and reservoirs. They cause damage to roads, bridges and culverts


Gully erosion is often driven by associated land degradation in the catchment to the gully system This may be overgrazing or inappropriate cultivation causing intense runoff events. Management for prevention will maintain high levels of vegetative cover and keep soil infiltration capacity at the optimum. Land capability is a useful tool to match land use with it sustainable productive capacity. There are a number of gully reclamation techniques which are described at a subsequent page

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