Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title Gully Erosion in Northwestern Colorado: A Case Study
Author(s) Doerner, James Patrick
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1988 August
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract Gullies are common landforms throughout the arid and semiarid regions of the world. These steep-walled channels range in depth from less than ten feet to more than a hundred feet (Bryan, 1925). The term 'gully' may be applied to any channel that is so deep that it cannot be crossed by a wheeled vehicle or eliminated by plowing (Peterson, 1950). The terminology applied to gullies varies with geographic location. In North Africa and in the Near East it is called a wadi. In India it is known as a nullah. In the southwestern United States it is sometimes referred to as an arroyo. Significance of Gullies Erosion of gullies is responsible for widespread destruction of valuable lands in the western United States. Gullies represent an unstable landform; one that is dynamic, and one that is a part of a transforming drainage network (Schumm, et. al., 1984). Field studies by Heede (1982) showed that gully erosion may cause rejuvenation of tributaries and an increase in sediment yield from a drainage network. The production of large volumes of sediment can adversely affect water quality and reservoir capacity (Patton and Schumm, 1975). Bryan (1925) and Heede (1979) report changes in flow regimes from perennial to ephemeral due to the lowering of the local water table following gully incision. The water table may be lowered to an elevation that it will no longer support subirrigated vegetation, thus increasing the erodibility of the valley floor by reducing the protective vegetation cover.
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