Soil Disintegration Characteristics on Ephemeral Gully Collapsing in Lateritic Belt of West Bengal, India

  • Pravat Kumar Shit
  • Partha Pratim Adhikary
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


Gully erosion has become a menace to agricultural and other development in the world. In the tropical and subtropical region of India, it is of very importance because of its advancement due to collapsing of head and gully wall. Quantification of different soil physico-chemical properties and soil disintegration characteristics within different weathering profiles (surface layer, red soil layer, sandy soil layer and detritus layer) and its relationships with different soil physico-chemical properties is necessary to understand the mechanism of the forming process and development of the collapsing gully. In this study, three collapsing gullies under red soil region of subtropical India were analysed for their physico-chemical properties and their relationships with the disintegration ability of the gully. The anti-disintegration ability of the different weathering profiles with two different moisture conditions (the natural state soil moisture condition and the air-dried condition) was determined by the anti-disintegration index (Kc) and measured by the submerging test. The results showed that surface soil layers are high in finer soil particles and organic matter; and the sandy soil layer and the detritus soil layer are rich with coarser soil particles. The anti-disintegration coefficient gradually decreases with the increase in soil depth. The anti-disintegration coefficient decreases sharply with the increase of soil moisture. Therefore, sandy soil layer and detritus layers are vulnerable to disintegration due to the effect of external factors compared to the upper two layers. The anti-disintegration coefficient is positively correlated with clay and soil organic matter. Therefore, in soils with high clay and organic matter content smaller gully can be noticed, which is a common fact, and thus been established in this study with the help of anti-disintegration coefficient.


Gully erosion Bulk density Disintegration index Particle size distribution Soil organic matter 


  1. Dey S, Ghosh S, Debbarma C and Sarker P (2009) Some observation of regional evidences of Tertiary–Quaternary geo-dymanics in a paleo-coastal of Bengal basin, India. Russian Geol Geophys 50(11): 884–894Google Scholar
  2. Gee GW, Bauder JW. Particle-size analysis (1986) In: Klute A, et, al. (Ed.), Methods of Soil Analysis Part 1, Physical and Mineralogical Methods, 2nd ed.; ASA, Inc, Madison, WI, pp 383–411.Google Scholar
  3. Hillel D (1980) Fundamentals of soil physics. Academic Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lado M, Benhur M, Shainberg I. (2004) Soil wetting and texture effects on aggregate stability, seal formation, and erosion. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.; 68: 1992–1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lan ZX. (2013) Experimental study on disintegration behavior of granite residual soil. Doctoral dissertation, South China Univ Techno, Guangzhou, China. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Liu J., Shi B., Jiang H., Bae S., Huang H. (2009) Improvement of water-stability of clay aggregates admixed with aqueous polymer soil stabilizers. Catena, 77: 175–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Liu XL, Qiu JA, Zhang DL. (2016) Analysis of soil wetting mechanism and influencing factors on the headwall of collapsing and erosional gully. J. Soil Water Conserv. 30: 80–84. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Luk SH, Yao QY, Gao JQ, Zhang JQ, He YG, Huang SM. (1997) Environmental analysis of soil erosion in Guangdong Province: a Deqing case study. Catena. 29: 97–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nelson DW, Sommers LE (1996) Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In: Sparks DL, Page AL, etc. (eds), Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 3. Chemical methods. Wisconsin, WI, USA: Soil Science Society of America Book Series, 5, 961−1010Google Scholar
  10. Niyogi D (1970) Geological background of beach erosion of Digha, West Bengal. Bull Geol Mining Metall Soc India 43:1–36Google Scholar
  11. Paul AK (2002) Coastal Geomorphology and Environment. ACB Publications, Kolkata.Google Scholar
  12. PP Adhikary, HC Hombegowda, D Barman, P Jakhar, M Madhu (2017) Soil erosion control and carbon sequestration in shifting cultivated degraded highlands of eastern India: performance of two contour hedgerow systems, Agroforestry Systems 91 (4), 757–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Shit PK, Bhunia G, Maiti R (2013) Assessment of Factors Affecting Ephemeral Gully Development in Badland Topography: a Case Study at Garbheta Badland (Pashchim Medinipur. Int J Geosci 4(2):461–470. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Shit PK, Paira R, Bhunia GS, Maiti R (2015) Modeling of potential gully erosion hazard using geo-spatial technology at Garbheta block, West Bengal in India. Model. Earth Syst. Environ. 1:2, DOI
  15. Singh S. and Dubey A. (2002) Gully erosion and management methods and applications (A Field Manual). New Academic Publishers, Delhi, 1–248 pp.Google Scholar
  16. Xia D, Zhao B, Liu D, Deng Y, Cheng H, Yan Y, et al. (2018) Effect of soil moisture on soil disintegration characteristics of different weathering profiles of collapsing gully in the hilly granitic region, South China. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0209427. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Xia D., Deng Y., Wang S., Ding S., Cai C. (2015) Fractal features of soil particle-size distribution of different weathering profiles of the collapsing gullies in the hilly granitic region, south China. Nat Hazards, 79:455–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Xia, D., Ding, S. W., Long, L., Deng, Y. S., Wang, Q. X., Wang, S. L., and Cai, C. F.(2016) Effects of collapsing gully erosion on soil qualities of farm fields in the hilly granitic region of south China, J. Integr. Agr., 15, 2873–2885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zhang S, Tang HM. (2013) Experimental study of disintegration mechanism for unsaturated granite residual soil. Rock Soil Mech.; 34: 1668–1674. (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Zhang S. (2009) A study on disintegration behavior of granite residual soil in Guangzhou. Doctoral dissertation, China Univ Geosci, Wuhan, China. (in Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pravat Kumar Shit
    • 1
  • Partha Pratim Adhikary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyRaja N. L. Khan Women’s College (Autonomous)MedinipurIndia
  2. 2.Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research CentreKoraputIndia

Personalised recommendations