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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (6): 778-793    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0135-8
Brief Communication     
Planar morphology and controlling factors of the gullies in the Yuanmou Dry-hot Valley based on field investigation
DENG Qingchun1,2, MIAO Fang1, ZHANG Bin2*, LUO Mingliang2, LIU Hui2, LIU Xiaojiao2, QIN Fachao2, LIU Gangcai3
1 College of Geophysics, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China;
2 School of Land and Resources, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637009, China;
3 Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
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Abstract  The plane form of a gully can provide a basis for evaluating the gully volume and erosion rate, acting process, and evolutionary stage. For describing the planar characteristics of a permanent gully and understanding their controlling factors, this study, utilizing a total station and GPS RTK, measured the shoulder lines and channel curves of 112 gullies in six sites of the Yuanmou Dry-hot Valley and then mapped them by ArcGIS software and calculated nine parameters. The results showed that the channel lengths range from 10.88 to 249.11 m; the widths range from 6.20 to 40.99 m; the perimeters range from 54.11 to 541.67 m; the gully areas range from 153.02 to 6,930.30 m2; the left-side areas range from 92.93 to 4,027.20 m2; and the right-side areas range from 63.65 to 3,539.77 m2. The slightly sinuous and straight gullies account for 73.21% of the total gullies; the quantity of the right skewed gullies is 8.93% greater than that of the left skewed ones based on the symmetry ratio; the shape ratios range from 1.12 to 1.40 and the morphology ratios from 0.038 to 1.294; the fractal dimension is 1.192. Gullies in different sites have diverse planar characteristics. Except for the symmetry index, which was close to a negatively skewed distribution, all of the other parameters had the characteristic of positively skewed distribution. The gully area is related to the length and width, but the gully length has a weak correlation with the width. The evolutionary stage, topographic conditions, strata, soil properties, and piping erosion played very important roles in the gully planar morphology. This study could provide useful infor-mation for controlling gully erosion and safeguarding human habitation and engineering buildings.

Key wordspsammophyte; Agriophyllum squarrosum      sand burial stress      growth inhibition      physiological response     
Received: 07 January 2015      Published: 10 December 2015

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (41101348)

Corresponding Authors: ZHANG Bin     E-mail:
Cite this article:

DENG Qingchun, MIAO Fang, ZHANG Bin, LUO Mingliang, LIU Hui, LIU Xiaojiao, QIN Fachao, LIU Gangcai. Planar morphology and controlling factors of the gullies in the Yuanmou Dry-hot Valley based on field investigation. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(6): 778-793.

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