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Gully Erosion

  • By: Christian Geißler
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Gully erosion is a phenomenon that can be observed worldwide and is often related to actual or former agricultural land use. Gullies are a form of linear (soil) erosion that emerge due to the erosive power of concentrated overland flow. Soil and unconsolidated rock are removed up to depths of from 0.5 to several meters, and in the worst case, badlands develop.

The process of gully erosion occurs mainly in landscapes with (climate- and/or human-induced) discontinuous vegetation cover and more or less periodic heavy rainfall events when gullies can develop excessive short-time drainage. These precipitous watercourses are also a sign of severe land degradation and are mainly triggered by land use change, inappropriate cultivation and irrigation systems, overgrazing, urbanization, deforestation, and global change.

Gully erosion can be ...

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