Concentrated surface flow results in a classic gully as an advanced stage of channel erosion. The gully is formed when channel development has progressed to the point where the gully is too wide and too deep to be tilled across. The channels carry large amounts of water after rains, and they deposit eroded material at the foot of the gully or in a receiving body of water. They disfigure the landscape and can make land unfit for growing crops. The concentrated flow frequently extends through the edge of the field and into surface water, which results in a loss of topsoil at the site. Downstream, the sediment settles where water flow is potentially slowed, plugging channels throughout the watershed and requiring dredging to maintain water flow or navigation of the channel.
Figure 5. Soil movement from rill erosion to gully formation and soil deposition at
the edge of a field in Ohio in spring 2017. Credit: Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension.
Figures 6a and 6b. Examples of gully erosion in Ohio in spring 2017. Credit for
both images: Greg LaBarge, OSU Extension.
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