From rills to gullies: how do we measure them?

TitleFrom rills to gullies: how do we measure them?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLi, Sheng, Fangzhou Zheng, and Rene Wackrow
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference NameGeomorphometry 2013
Date Published2013
Conference LocationNanjing, China
AbstractWater erosion can take the forms of inter-rill (sheet), rill and gully erosion. Although gully erosion has been recognized as a major form of water erosion in many agricultural lands, studies on water erosion have focused on inter-rill and rill erosion. There is a gap in knowledge about how gullies are formed and how this process can impact surface runoff, sediment yield and nutrient losses from the landscape. In this study, we propose to conduct a plot study to examine the initiation of channels and the development of channels from rills to gullies. The study was carried out on six plots in the research farm of the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, Canada. Three management treatments were applied to the plots: cropped and up-down-slope tillage, cropped and contour tillage, and fallow and up-down-slope tillage (serving as the control). The formation and development of channels are monitored using three methods: 1) manual measurement, 2) a total station scanner, and 3) photogrammetry. Preliminary results showed that the resolution and accuracy of data obtained using the total station scanner varied substantially, depending on the view angle and the distance of the measurements whereas the photogrammetry method was capable of detecting fine elevation changes across the plots.
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