Gullies of different scales and types have developed in the Loess Plateau, China. Differences in the amount of gully erosion influence the development, evolution, morphology, and spatial distribution of these gullies. The strengths of headward erosion on the gully shoulder line are used to dictate soil and water conservation measures. In this study, six typical loess landforms in the Loess Plateau were selected as sampling sites: Shenmu, Suide, Ganquan, Yanchuan, Yijun, and Chunhua, which respectively represent loess–aeolian and dune transition zones, loess hills, loess ridge hills, loess ridges, loess long-ridge fragmented tablelands, and loess tablelands. Using 5 m resolution digital elevation model data from the National Basic Geographic Information Database, a small representative watershed was selected from each sampling site to obtain elevation data on the terrain profiles of gully shoulder lines. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MF-DFA) was used to conduct statistical and comparative analysis of the elevation fluctuation characteristics of these profiles. The results show that MF-DFA is capable of detecting active gully erosion sites. Sites of active gully erosion are concentrated in Shenmu and Suide but more widely distributed in the other five sites. The results provide a scientific basis for small watershed management planning and the design of soil and water conservation measures.
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