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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Causes and Controlling Factors of Valley Bottom Gullies

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Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
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Team Soil, Water and Land Use, Wageningen Environmental Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia
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Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, MS 38655, USA
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Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2019, 8(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8090141
Received: 12 August 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 12 September 2019 / Published: 17 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN))
Valley bottomland provides diverse agricultural and ecosystem benefits. Due to concentrated flow paths, they are more vulnerable to gully erosion than hillslope areas. The objective of this review was to show what caused valley bottoms gullies and to present deficiencies in existing rehabilitation measures. From the literature review, we found the following general trends: watershed characteristics determine location of valley bottom gullies; an increase in water transported from the watershed initiates the formation of gullies; the rate of change of the valley bottom gullies, once initiated, depends on the amount of rainfall and the soil and bedrock properties. Especially in humid climates, the presence of subsurface flow greatly enhances bank slippage and advancement of gully heads. Valley bottom gully reclamation measures are generally effective in arid and semi-arid areas with the limited subsurface flow and deep groundwater tables, whereas, for (sub) humid regions, similar remedial actions are not successful as they do not account for the effects of subsurface flows. To ensure effective implementation of rehabilitation measures, especially for humid regions, an integrated landscape approach that accounts for the combined subsurface and surface drainage is needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: erosion; runoff; soil saturation; sediment; badlands; landscape restoration; valley bottom erosion; runoff; soil saturation; sediment; badlands; landscape restoration; valley bottom
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amare, S.; Keesstra, S.; van der Ploeg, M.; Langendoen, E.; Steenhuis, T.; Tilahun, S. Causes and Controlling Factors of Valley Bottom Gullies. Land 2019, 8, 141.

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