Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 778–793 | Cite as

Planar morphology and controlling factors of the gullies in the Yuanmou Dry-hot Valley based on field investigation

  • Qingchun Deng
  • Fang Miao
  • Bin ZhangEmail author
  • Mingliang Luo
  • Hui Liu
  • Xiaojiao Liu
  • Fachao Qin
  • Gangcai Liu


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 information for controlling gully erosion and safeguarding human habitation and engineering buildings.


gully plane form morphological parameters controlling factors Yuanmou Dry-hot Valley 


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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer - Verlag GmbH 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingchun Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fang Miao
    • 1
  • Bin Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mingliang Luo
    • 2
  • Hui Liu
    • 2
  • Xiaojiao Liu
    • 2
  • Fachao Qin
    • 2
  • Gangcai Liu
    • 3
  1. 1.College of GeophysicsChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Land and ResourcesChina West Normal UniversityNanchongChina
  3. 3.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina

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