Rapid assessment of gully sidewall erosion rates in data-poor catchments: a case study in Australia

Whitford, J. A. and Newham, L. T. H. and Vigiak, O. and Melland, A. R. and Roberts, A. M. (2010) Rapid assessment of gully sidewall erosion rates in data-poor catchments: a case study in Australia. Geomorphology, 118 (3/4). pp. 330-338. ISSN 0169-555X


Knowledge of erosion rates and sediment yields from gullies is critical for the effective prioritisation of management efforts aimed at reducing the impact of gully-derived sediments on water quality. This paper describes a rapid assessment method for estimating sidewall gully erosion rates for already established gully networks. It combines a conceptual-empirical model of the cycle of gully initiation and stabilisation with an easy-to-apply technique for assessing gully extent and dimensions. The method is illustrated using a case study of the Avon-Richardson Catchment of north-central Victoria, Australia. It is estimated that a total of 4.6×106tonnes of sediment have been generated in that catchment from gully erosion since the latest major phase of gullying in the mid 1800s. This is equivalent to 8.9tha-1y-1 if sediment generation was evenly distributed spatially and temporally across the 3300km2 catchment over 160years prior to 2010. Current rates of gully erosion are estimated to be 4700ty-1 (equivalent to 1.4tha-1y-1). The results are comparable with observed rates of sidewall erosion in the Avon-Richardson Catchment. Further testing is required to build confidence in its applicability to assess sediment yields and for assisting regional authorities to plan remediation efforts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2014 06:37
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 05:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: erosion rates; gully erosion model; rapid assessment; sediment generation
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology
04 Earth Sciences > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961499 Soils not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.01.013
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25778

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