Survey of Mick Brumby’s property / positive findings
In conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture, through its local offices, a soil survey of Mick Brumby’s property was carried out. The soil survey was carried out with respect to the soil profile. The parameters considered were mineralogical make up, thickness of soil particles, arrangement and the physical and chemical properties. This analysis was important in order to determine the water retention capacity of the soil. From the survey, your land is predominantly made of loam soil. The piece of land is situated on a slope, hence some concern with regards to mass wasting. There is bedrock deeper into the soil, hence the mineralization profile of the soil. However, the lack of vegetation and soil cover has resulted in soil erosion as evidenced by deep gullies and rills on different parts of the property.
Problem and Explanation of Mass Wasting
Soil mass wasting is particularly problematic, especially when such land is meant for use for various human activities like agriculture or construction. It is importance to conceptualize mass wasting in order to understand the devastating effect it can have on land forms. Mass wasting entail that movement of soil, rocks, sand and regolith down a slope, usually in large masses under the influence of gravity. However, it is noteworthy that more often than not, water content or water has an effect of mass wasting. For instance, mudslides, a form of mass wasting occurs when the soil is saturated with water and flows down the slope. The reason soil stays put on a slope is because the resisting force is greater than the force of gravity. However, due to the lubrication from water, or the effects of other forces like earth movements, the gravitational force that is acting on the slope might be greater than the resisting force of the soil. In such instances, slope failure, also known as mass wasting occurs (Gabler, 2009).
Possible Solutions and Conclusion
Some protracted solutions to the problem of mass wasting are unique to the causes. For instance, earthquakes cause earth tremors that might result in slope failure. The results of these earth tremors can cause immense damages on man-made structures like roads, rails and buildings. A solution to this would be stabilizing slopes so that their resisting force is augmented. Slopes can be stabilized by planting deep rooted trees along slopes. Additionally, a retaining wall can be constructed on the bottom of the slope in order to counter the shear forces. Alternatively one can also drape a heavy net metal along the slope in order to trap any loosened rocks.
One can also use other approaches to mitigate the effect in addition to preventing mass wasting. One of these approaches is terracing the slope. Terracing a slope is a very effective method I preventing soil erosion. Through the same mechanism, terracing a slope can help prevent mass wasting. Through terracing, one reduces the gradient of the slope. This means that that the force of gravity acting on the slope is lesser when the slope is terraced compared to when the slope is not terraced. Vegetation should be planted on the edges of the terraces in order to stabilize the soil.
In conclusion, even in a piece of land is prone to mass wasting, one can remedy the situation. The key is to stabilize the soil and reduce the force of gravity that is acting in the slope. As discussed above, this is done by draping heavy metal nets, constructing a retaining wall, planting deep rooted trees and terracing the slope. In case the gradient of the slope is high, a combination of these approaches can be used to good effect.
Gabler, R. E. (2009). Physical geography. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.