gully(redirected from gullies)
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a deep, steep-sided cut formed by a temporary stream. It forms on elevated plains or on hills that are composed of loose, easily scoured rock and on the sides of ravines and gulches. It may be up to several kilometers long, with a width and depth of dozens of meters. Gullies are most widespread in the European USSR in the forest-steppe and steppe zones (for example, in the Central Russian Upland, Volga Upland, Volyn’ Hills, and Po-dol’e Upland) and in Middle Asia (Fergana). In other countries they are found in the loess areas of China, in a number of regions in the United States, and in tropical countries.
Gullies cause great damage chiefly to agriculture by breaking up and destroying fields. Farming practices that eliminate or reduce surface runoff and promote moisture retention on the fields are effective in preventing gully erosion. They include crop rotation, contour farming, broken ridging, slotting, strip farming, the creation of perennial-grass buffer strips along the contour, the leveling of scours, and the planting of water-absorbing forest belts horizontally along sloping lands.
On land with developing gullies, hydraulic engineering works are built and forest reclamation methods are also used. The hydraulic engineering structures include water-retaining embankments, terraces, drainage ditches, dams, chutes, overfalls, and retaining walls. The forest reclamation methods include the planting of shelterbelts around gullies and ravines, as well as afforestation and regrassing of the sides and floors of gullies. These measures prevent the development of gullies. Gullies are now sometimes flattened and then sown with grass.
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Braude, I. D. Zakreplenie i osvoenie ovragov, balok i krutykh sklonov. Moscow, 1959.
Koz’menko, A. S. Bor’ba s eroziei pochv na sel’skokhoziai-stvennykh ugod’iakh. Moscow, 1963.
Shikula, N. K. Bor’ba s eroziei i zemledelie na sklonakh. Donetsk, 1968.
D. L. ARMAND and N. K. SHIKULA