Understanding the Morphology and Development of a Rill-Gully: An Empirical Study of Khoai Badland, West Bengal, India

  • Asish Saha
  • Manoranjan Ghosh
  • Subodh Chandra Pal
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


The lateritic region of the Birbhum District of West Bengal is part of the low-level unconsolidated erosional deposits from the eastern Chotanagpur plateau. Topographically, the region is the part of the ‘Rarh Plain’ of western West Bengal. A localized badland, namely ‘Khoai,’ has developed in the west–south to north–east direction on the bank of the River Kopai in this lateritic region. The aim of the present study is to understand the slope, channel profile, and development processes of the rill-gully of Khoai badland topography. Therefore, both quantitative analysis and field investigation have been carried out to fulfill these objectives. To understand the nature of the gullies profiles, a least squares linear regression model as well as Hack’s Stream Length–Gradient Index (SL) has been used in this study. The Soil Conservation Service-Curve Number (SCS-CN) method has been applied for the computation of the rainfall–runoff relationship of the study area. The rate of sediment transportation was calculated on the basis of the J.R. Williams Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR). It was found that the existing badland topography in this region has been developed mainly by the climatogenetic processes of water erosion. The various water erosion processes, such as rain splash erosion, sheet erosion, and inter-rill erosion, have been very active over a long period. The laterites of this region have been dissected and shaped into numerous rills and gullies by the aforementioned erosion and weathering processes over time. It was also observed that the dominance of lower-order gullies indicates a high rate of soil erosion. Furthermore, it was found that a huge volume of sediment has been transported by surface runoff in this region. It was estimated that the region experiences a high rate of SDR (0.87–1.01).


Water erosion Stream length–gradient index SCS-curve number Sediment delivery ratio 


  1. Ahmed I, Verma V, Verma M (2015) Application of curve number method for estimation of runoff potential in GIS environment. In: 2nd International Conference on Geological and Civil Engineering, Singapore 80(4):16–20Google Scholar
  2. Aown A, Kar N (2016) Lateritic badland of Sinhati, Bankura, West Bengal: a geomorphic investigation. In: Das BC, Ghosh S, Islam A, Ismail M (eds) Neo-thinking on Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin geomorphology. Springer, Berlin pp 19–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandhopadhyay S (1987) Man-initiated gullying and slope formation in a lateritic terrain at Santiniketan West Bengal. Geogr Rev India 49(4):21–26Google Scholar
  4. Bandyopadhyay S (1988) Drainage evolution in a badland terrain at Gangani in Mednipur district, West Bengal. Geogr Rev India 50(3):10–20Google Scholar
  5. Basu SR (1972) On the formation of a shoal on the concave bank of lateritic river Kopai, West Bengal. Geogr Rev India 34(3):287–297Google Scholar
  6. Battaglia S, Leoni L, Rapetti F et al (2011) Dynamic evolution of badlands in the Rogilo basin (Tuscany, Italy). Catena 86(1):14–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bera K, Bandyopadhyay J (2013) Prioritization of watershed using morphometric analysis through geoinformatics technology: a case study of Dungra water sub-basin, West Bengal, India. Int J Adv Remote Sens GIS 2(1):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhattacharya JC (1957) Erosion studies in the lateritic areas of West Bengal. J Indian Soc Soil Sci 5:103–108Google Scholar
  9. Biswas A (1987) Laterites and lateritiods of Bengal. In: Datye VS, Diddee J, Jog SR, Patil C (eds) Exploration in the tropics. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, pp 137–146Google Scholar
  10. Chakraborty SC (1970) Some consideration on the evolution of physiography of Bengal. In: Chatterjee AB, Gupta A, Mukhopadhyay (eds) West Bengal. Geographical Institute, Presidency College, Calcutta, pp 16–29Google Scholar
  11. Charlton R (2008) Fundamentals of fluvial geomorpholgy. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Das K, Bandyopadhyay S (1995) Badland development over laterite duricrust. In: Jog SR (ed) Indian geomorphology 1. Rawat Publications, New Delhi, pp 31–42Google Scholar
  13. Das K, Bandyopadhyay S (1996) Badland development lateritic terrain: Santiniketan, West Bengal. In: Jog SR (ed) National Geographer 31(1, 2):87–103Google Scholar
  14. Das S, Behera S, Kar A et al (1997) Hydrogeomorphological mapping in ground water exploration using remotely sensed data– a case study in Keonjhar district, Orissa. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 25(4):247–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dey S, Ghosh S, Debbarman C et al (2009) Some regional indicators of the tertiary-quaternary geodynamics in the palaeocostal part of Bengal Basin (India). Russ Geol Geophys 50(10):884–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fairbridge RW (ed) (1968) Encyclopedia of geomorphology. Reinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferro V, Minacapalli M (1995) Sediment delivery processes at basin scale. Hydrol Sci J 40(6):703–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gajbhiye S (2015) Estimation of surface runoff using remote sensing and geographic information system. Int J Serv Sci Technol 8(4):113–122Google Scholar
  19. Gajbhiye S, Mishra S, Pandey A (2014) Relationship between SCS-CN and sediment yield. Appl Water Sci 4(4):363–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ghosh S, Bhattacharya K (2012) Multivariate erosion risk assessment of lateritic badlands of Birbhum (West Bengal, India): a case study. J Earth Syst Sci 121(6):1441–1454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ghosh S, Guchhait S (2012) Soil loss estimation through USLE and MMF methods in the lateritic tracts of eastern plateau fringe of Rajmahal traps, India. Ethiop J Environ Stud Manag 5(4):529–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Google earth pro V (July 18, 2018) Khoai badland, West Bengal, India. 23°40’24.89”N, 87°39’08.23”E, Eye alt 12680 feet. DigitalGlobe 2018.
  23. GSI (1948) Published Geological quadrangle map, Kolkata, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  24. Guzha AC, Rufino MC, Okoth S, Jacobs S, Nobrega RLB (2018) Impact of land use and land cover change on surface runoff, discharge and low flows: evidence from east Africa. J Hydrol Reg Stud 15:49–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hack JT (1957) Studies of longitudinal stream profiles in Virginia and Maryland. US Geol Surv Prof Papers 294:45–97Google Scholar
  26. Hack JT (1973) Stream profile analysis and stream-gradient index J Res US Geol Surv 1(4):421–429Google Scholar
  27. Horton RE (1932) Drainage basin characteristics. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 13(1):350–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jha V, Gupta K (2003) Land degradation in tropical lands: a case study. In: Jha VC (ed) Land degradation and desertification. Rawat Publications, New Delhi, pp 279–290Google Scholar
  29. Jha V, Kapat S (2009) Rill and gully erosion risk of lateritic terrain in south-western Birbhum district, West Bengal, India. Soc Nat 21(2):141–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jha V, Kapat S (2011) Degraded lateritic soils cape and uses in Birbhum district, West Bengal, India. Soc Nat 23(3):545–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Joshi V (2014) Soil loss estimation by field measurements in the badlands along Pravara River (Western India). J Geol Soc India 83:613–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laha M (2011) Spatio-social impact of miniwatershed project at Bhalki, Bardhaman district, West Bengal. Wesleyan J Res 14(1):155–174Google Scholar
  33. Leopold LB, Wolman MG, Miller JP (1964) Fluvial process in geomorphology. WH Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  34. Magar P, Magar N (2016) Application of Hack’s stream gradient index (SL index) to longitudinal profiles of the river flowing across Satpura-Purna plain, Western Vidarbha, Maharashtra. J Indian Geomorphol 4:65–72Google Scholar
  35. Martz LW, Garbrecht J (1999) An outlet breaching algorithm for the treatment of closed depressions in a raster DEM. Comput Geosci 25(7):835–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mukhopadhyay S (1992) Soil erosion in Kopai basin, Birbhum. J Land Syst Ecol Stud 15(2):22–23Google Scholar
  37. Nadal-Romero E, Regues D (2010) Geomorphological dynamics of subhumid mountain badland areas: weathering, hydrological and suspended sediment transport processes. A case study in the Araguas catchment (Central Pyrenees) and implications for altered hydroclimatic regimes. Prog Phys Geogr Earth Environ 34(2):123–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. NBSS & LUP (2010) Published soil texture map of West Bengal, ICAR-Kolkata, West Bengal, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  39. Niyogi D, Mallick S, Sarkar S (1970) A preliminary study of laterites of West Bengal. India. In: Chatterjee SP, Das S, Gupta P (eds) Selected papers in physical geography vol 1. 21st International Geographical Congress, Calcutta, National Committee for Geography, pp 443–449Google Scholar
  40. Onyando JO, Kisoyan P, Chemelil MC (2005) Estimation of potential soil erosion for River Perkerra catchment in Kenya. Water Resour Manag 19:133–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ouyang D, Bartholic J (1997) Predicting sediment delivery ratio in Saginaw Bay watershed. In: Orlando FL (ed) Proceedings of the 22nd National Association Environmental Professionals Conference, USA, pp 19–23Google Scholar
  42. Pal SC, Chakrabortty R (2018) Modeling of water induced surface soil erosion and the potential risk zone prediction in a sub-tropical watershed of Eastern India. Model Earth Syst Environ 125Google Scholar
  43. Pal SC, Shit M (2017) Application of RUSLE model for soil loss estimation of Jaipanda watershed, West Bengal. Spatial Inform Res 25(3):399–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Roy J, Saha S (2017) Measuring the spatial pattern of surface runoff using SCS-CN method of Hinglo river basin: RS-GIS approach. Int Res J Earth Sci 5(8)1–7Google Scholar
  45. Sarkar D, Nayak D, Dutta D et al (2007) Optimizing land use of Birbhum district (West Bengal) soil resource assessment. NBSS Publ. 130. NBSS and LUP NagpurGoogle Scholar
  46. Seeber L, Gornitz V (1983) River profiles along the Himalayan arc as indicators of active tectonics. Tectonophysics 92:335–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sehgal J, Abrol IP (1994) Soil degradation in India: status and impact. Oxford/IBH, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  48. Sen J, Sen S, Bandyopadhyay S (2004) Geomorphological investigation of badlands: a case study of Garhbeta, West Medinipur district, West Bengal, India. In: Singh S, Sharma HS, De SK (eds) Geomorphology and environment. ACB, Kolkata, pp 204–234Google Scholar
  49. Sen P K (1993) Geomorphological analysis of drainage basins. Burdwan University Press, Burdwan, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  50. Shit P, Bhunia G, Maiti R (2013) Assessment of factors affecting ephemeral gully development in badland topography: a case study at Garhbeta badland (Paschim Medinipur). Int J Geosci 4(2):461–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Shit P, Bhunia G, Maiti R (2014) Morphology and development of selected badlands in South Bengal (India). Indian J Geogr Environ 13:161–171Google Scholar
  52. Shit PK, Maiti RK (2012) Mechanism of gully-head retreat: a study at Ganganir Danga, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal. Ethiop J Environ Stud Manag 5(4):417–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Siddi R, Sudarsana G, Rajasekhar M (2018) Estimation of rainfall-runoff using SCS-CN method with RS GIS techniques for Mandavi basin in YSR Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Hydrospatial Anal 2(1):1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stone RO (1967) A desert glossary. Earth Sci Rev 211–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Strahler AN (1964) Quantitative geomorphology of drainage basins and channel networks. In: Chow VT (ed) Handbook of applied hydrology McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 739–476Google Scholar
  56. Thomas MF (1974) Tropical geomorphology. Macmillan, London, pp 49–82Google Scholar
  57. USDA (1972) Sediment sources, yields, and delivery ratios. National Engineering Handbook, Section 3, Sedimentation. USDA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  58. USDA (1986) Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Engineering Division, Technical Release 55. USDA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  59. Walling DE (1983) The sediment delivery problem. J Hydrol 65:209–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Williams JR (1977) Sediment routing for agricultural watersheds. Water Resour Bull 11(5):965–974CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asish Saha
    • 1
  • Manoranjan Ghosh
    • 2
  • Subodh Chandra Pal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe University of BurdwanBardhamanIndia
  2. 2.Rural Development CentreIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations