Soil Erosion Along a Creek BankBY AARON WILBURN
IntroductionIn this report the environmental issue of soil erosion along a creek bank is investigated. The mainpart of the investigation was undertaken along part of the Purga Creek. Which is situated in the areaof Milbong, Queensland. This report will show people how to recognise areas that have problemswith soil erosion along creek banks, the main causes and what you could do to help stop furthererosion.The Purga Creek is a subcatchment of the Bremer River Catchment which also includes the BremerRiver, Western Creek, Franklin Vale Creek, Bundamba Creek and Warill Creek/Lake Moogerah. TheBremer River Catchment is also considered to be part of the Brisbane River Catchment, which is thebiggest river system in Southern Queensland.Map of the Bremer River Catchment which includes the Purga Creek.
Erosion alongside a creek is a common issue. There are a number of reasons that this environmentalissue can occur--natural processess-floods-human activity ,such as land clearing-animal activity, including cattle grazingOne of the main concerns of soil erosion is that the land along the edge of the creek can fall awayinto the creek which could bring down large trees. Creeks bring needed water to a landscape. Intimes of flood the soil can be washed away, changing the creek banks. As these pictures show.This picture shows the creek in a time of flood, water is much higher than usual, note the flat bank.
This picture shows the bank edge changed after a flood. It now has alot of sand and dirt dumped onit.A flood can totally change the landscape of the creek. Also causing erosion at a fast pace by takingthe creek edges to other locations. The rapid movement of water flowing and swirling around takeswhatever gets in its way. Water would have to be one of the quickest ways to cause erosion, onlyneeding a little bit of time for this to happen.Another way that soil erosion occurs is from human activity in the form of clearing trees, nativeplants and grasses that help to support the edges of a creek by holding the soil down with theirroots. Also allowing hoofed animals such as cattle to graze along the banks can damage the nativeflora and fauna.Wind can also cause erosion. Water and Wind can carry soil into our waterways which could containpollutants such as oil, grease, chemicals, fertilizers, animal waste and bacteria. Which in turn canthreaten our water supply.Soil erosion should be a concern for everyone.
Here are some examples of soil erosion which has caused trees to fall down.
These pictures show a large gum tree that will come down in coming years. The land has erodedaway .Pic 1 shows a far away view. Pic 2 shows a close up view.
What could you do to help stop soil erosion along a creek bank. Although this is a natural processand will occur no matter what. The best things you could do is to plant native trees, bushes andgrasses along the creek banks. The roots of these trees and bushes will help to hold the soil at thewaters edge.Native plants also provide habitation for native species such as birds, lizards and turtles. This canalso be said for the fallen trees they also can provide a habitat for aquatic life in the creek andresting spots for birds, turtles and other animals.Another way to help stop soil erosion along your creek bank is to provide ponds or tanks for hoofedanimals such as cattle and horses and fence off the creek so these animals cannot get to the creekedges .Another idea is to check out what the soil is made of. If the soil has higher levels of organic matterand the soil has good structure it will have greater resistance to erosion. Also Sand and loamtextered soil tends to be less erodible than silt, very fine sand and some clay soils.This picture here shows soil erosion on the side of a bank ,the exposed roots and debris are perfectplaces for water birds to sit and rest.