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Q am grateful to Professor Sandipan Chakroborty, Dept. of Geography, Presidency

College, Calcutta, for his guidance during the field study in Garhbeta, Midnapore)
and for his non stop motivation to carry out studies in the post field work.(His
ideas, remarkable understanding of Fluvial Geomorphology and support has
greatly contributed in carrying out this research work!)

am also indebted to Sri Jayanta Sen, Research Scholar of Vidyasagar

University, Midnapore West Bengal for supplying the useful maps and
documents?) ^

1 am also grateful to my parents who always inspired me to carry out my

dissertation work.

a. Introduction
b. Loc

d. Methodology

e. Previous Literature


a. Geology
b. Climate
c. Natural Vegetation
d. Soil I

a. Progressive growth of gullies
b. Types of water erosion

c. The cause and processes of

linear erosion


a. 3
tier gully
development!! H b.
Shapes of gullies
c. Longprofile of gullies
d. Micro relief features

y<5HAPTER 5:
a. Information about Garhbeta
b. Impact

c. Conclusion



Gully development at
Gangani near Garhbeta, A Medinipur district, West

pr Bengal, India has given rise to a mesoscale badland

landscape. Exquisite chromatic association of land
^ forms and awe-inspiring character of topography calls
for investigation of geomorphic processes that have
dominated the terrain in the past and are operating
even today in the area.

The Garhbeta Badlands (22° 49'N, 87° 27'E) is
situated in west Medinipur district of West Bengal, India.
This area is locally known as 4Ganganir Danga' (Land of
Fire). The area lies on he Howrah-Adra-Chakradharpur
route of the South-Eastern Railway and is located at a
distance of 176kms. from Calcutta and is approachable
by both road & railways.

The Specific objectives of the study are - (i) to
delineate the nature and characteristics of gullies, (ii) to
detect the Causes of the development of rills and gullies
of the area; (Hi) to classify the gullies based on their
nature and extension;

field methods the maps and data products (digital-
he imagery) have collected from different Govt. Sources. In
entire the field, extensive field work has been done in each
work sector and phase according to the levels of
has development for micro level study and to observe the
been nature and delineate the morphological characteristics
perfor of the study area. In post field work the data have been
med processed and analysed by modern Geomorphic and
by analytical techniques and ultimately attempt have been
differ taken to delineate the impact of ravine development on
ent surrounding.
meth Besides depending on the fieldwork at Garhbeta,

ods other geomophological data & informations are taken

are -from different journals of Bondhopadhyay S, Jayanta

(I) Sen, Suman Sen, Kanailal Das & other's who have

Pre- done work in this area.

od. In
The region around our study area have thick mantle of laterite
occupying the high lands along the bank of river Silai. They are believed to be
of Pleistocene age. The thickness of this laterite capping varies gradually
between 6-25 metres.

The result of exploratory boreholes in the area revealed that there is a

gradual increase in depth of the basement rock (granite gneiss) with
consequent increase in the thickness of the semi-consolidated or loosely
consolidated sediments including the laterite from west to east and southwest
directions. This view also was corroborated by the findings from the
geophysical studies in the area. The palaeontological evidence also indicated
a gradual increase in the base of Pleistosene sediments from 106 to 152
metres to the east (Goswami, 1964-65).

Geology of the area is concealed under a blanket of laterite and laterite

soils. Based on he critical appraisal of the lithological logs and electrical logs of
the boreholes drilled in the area the lithological sequence works out as

(i) Laterite Laterites, yellow & mottled clay, furriness sand an

silt, yellow clay, gravels.
(ii) Quartzo-feldspathic sand Clay, grey, silty medium to coarse-sand. Grey an
brownish grey with intervening clay.
(iii) Ferro-Magnesian sand Clay, grew to brownish grey silt, fine to medium san
micaceous gravel bed.
(iv) Clay Clay, grey semi-cousolidated contain fossil. Fos
pockets mainly pelecypods and gastropods.
Base unknown

The climate of the study area has been identified as sub-humid
monsoon type. Hot dry summer season (March - May), wet monsoon season
(June -October) and dry-cool winter (December - January) are the three
important seasons that cover most of the time of the year. During summer, the
maximum temperature increases to 45°C or more. The bare and dark coloured
lateritic surface produces maximum radiation of heat energy during this time.
The area receives an average rainfall of 140cm yr"1. Dry and cool winter
season lasts about three months in a year when minimum temperature goes
down to below 9°C. The seasonal fluctuations of
temperature and humidity have a great impact on laterisation processes and

badland development over the study area.

Our study are was once covered with mixed deciduous forest and
was a part of Jangal mahal of Rarh upland before independence. Sal
(Shorea robusta) was the most important tree associated with Shimul
(bombax ceibal), Mahua (madhuca indica), Jarul {lagerstroemia
speciosa) etc. Presently, low sub-soil acidity, high subsurface calcium and
absence of organic matter are indicative of poor growth and regeneration of
sal. In most of the places the topsoil has been washed away which is not
favourable to the ecosystem.


The region is characterised with loose and dry surface soil with
presence of highly indurated duricrust. The sediments of the area are mostly
concealed under a blanket of duricrust. As laterite is heavily leached tropical
subsoil, when exposed, it dries and gets rock-like due to cementing of
ferruginous concretions by iron oxide colloids (Mallick and Niyogi, 1970). It is
not a fertile soil. At Garhbeta laterite also consists of aluminum
oxyhydroxides with smaller amounts of iron oxyhydroxides and a little bit of a
clay mineral called halloysite. Silica, calcium, magnesium, potassium and
sodium are present in very low amounts of absent. Laterite formations span
several kilometers on the right bank of river Silai. The topography very much
resembles the Australian "breakaways" with a broad flattish and dissected
top and undercut softer materials below (Mallick and Niyogi 1970, Biswas
1987). L
Sequence Name Slope Thickness (m) Characteristics
1 Surface 3" or less 0.5 A Surficial cover of red clayey so
Layer in many places, with some sand
2 Laterite 5 -15°
2.0-4.0 A layer of nodular duricrust, part
duricrust containing iron concretions
nodules, which are tabular &
large to be called pipes often dra
water, from the solutionai & co
developed on the surface,
indurated layer being often
vertically by gullies running d
3 Mottled Nearly 4.0-6.0 A layer of redish & sometim
clay 60° mottled clay, mired with some
layer as course sand, traversed in pla
hardpans, cut away by rills & g
scarp face.
4 Palled 35° -45° 5.0 A pallied layer of yellowish
zone containing very little of sand
layer irregular in occurrence, pure cl
only in pockets, producing on

We can also describe the nature of soil and sediment properties in the study

area by the following table >

Nature of Soil & Sediment Properties in the Study

No Specifications Soil Organic %0f %of %of Textural Available Avail
Ph Carbon Sand Silt Clay Class N bleP
S1 Laterite 68 0.22 51.9 15.8 32 8 Sci 120 20
durienst /
S-2 Pallid zone 55 0 06 499 35.8 14 3 L 32 3.6
surface of
western gully
S-3 Gully 58 Nil 927 1.0 6.3 S 25 Trace
channel bed / m- - -
- - - -„ . ,

by the side
Of River silat
S-4 Erosional 5.5 0 62 41.8 4.9 16.3 L 401 85.
laterite t •
during wet


Following Table gives clear indication on progress of

the badland based on estimation of authentic secondary
information viz. Survey of India topographical maps (1:50,000),
Aerial photographs (1:60,000), satellite data (IRS LISS III
Geocoded, 1:50,000; IRS ID PAN Image - 2001, and ground
survey since 1995. It can be seen that the affected area has
increased to about 234.48% during the last 73 years.

SI.Source of Information Year of Observation Affected are

1 SOI Topographical map 1930-31 1.45 km
2 SOI Topographical map 1968-69 2.10 km
3 IIRS 1C Lisslll Geocoded 1995 2.95 km
4 IRS 1D PAN Image 2001 3.28 km
5 Mapping with GPS and 2003 3.40 km
field monitoring

Introduction of Global Positioning System opened up a

new frontier in surveying, with unprecedented accuracy especially
in this terrain which had to be mapped to investigate fluvio-
geomorphological processes so that such spatial database may
assist in adopting necessary reclamation schemes. GPS survey
carried out during 2000-2001, brought about exact extent of
actual present area under badlands, shape and length of the
escarpments, rate of gully headwall retreat, location of micro and
meso scale geomorphic features, gully networks etc. The GPS
hardware and software used in the survey (Trimble TDC 1 and
TCS-1 receiver with Pro XR antenna and Pathfinder Office V 8.2
software) were capable of providing sub meter accuracy after
post processing of the collected data. Universal Transverse
Mercator (UTM Zone North - 45) projections was used in the
study as this was found to be the most convenient projection
system for transferring the GPS-generated vectors directly to
Geomatica V8.2, the RS/GIS software used for mapping.
Initially this area was a flat-topped lateritic upland.
Shifting of river Silai towards the upland and erosion along its
concave bank produced a steep escarpment (>20m) revealing 4
to 5 distinct indurated horizons. Gullies dissected the duricrusted
surface and extended headward resulting in rapid scarp retreat.
Four stages of Gully development at Garhbeta Badland:



Loosening of soils by raindrop erosion & initiation of small

ephemeral channels known as rills.

In the southern periphery of the lateritic upland of the

whole badland sector of Garhbeta, where the general gradient
of the terrain lies be

low 3°. f # -I

Upstream movement of the gully head & enlargement of

the gully in width and depth. The gully cuts to the horizon and
the weak parent material is rapidly removed. A waterfall often
develops where the flow plunges from the upstream segment to
the eroded channel below.

Over the bare and undulating lateritic escarpment surface

where medium gullies (G3) have established and the surface
gradient lies below 10°.

Healing stage with vegetation beginning to grow in the

Established specially in the western part of the badland
where medium deep gullies have dissected the upland.

Stabilisation of the gully head, the channel reaches a

stable slope and the vegetation begins to grow in sufficient
abundance to anchor the soil and permit development of new
topsoil. The healing stage is a necessary primed to stabilisation
and the one stage grades into the other.

This stage of gully development can be seen in the

eastern part of the badland sector where matured gullies have
smooth gradient.

The badland of Garhbeta have two distinct parts viz. the

less mature Southwestern part (about 0.40 km2) & more mature
North-Eastern part (about 0.85 km2). The maximum retreat of
the gully head was found to be about 60cm/year.
'Badlands', as the name implies, are
barren areas of little or no economic value;
generally devoid of vegetation and often
having an extremely rugged terrain, which makes
human access difficult; they are generally regarded
as useless lands. The term can be traced to early
settlers in western North America where scattered
areas of badlands are widely distributed. (Campbell
1989) Encyclopedia of Geomorphology by R. W.
Fairbridge describes badlands as extremely
dissected landscape difficult to cross on horseback
and agriculturally useless. French
Geomorphologists define badlands as areas
dissected by very fine drainage networks and short
steep slopes with narrow interfluves. The slopes
may terminate abruptly in pediments on a miniature
scale and are often completely free of vegetation.

It occurs when raindrops fall [raindrop fall at
914 cm/s (30ft/s)) on unprotected ground. When
raindrop strikes the ground surface the soil particles
become more loose and splash due to impact force.
A momentary building up of the pressure gradients
towards the edges of the drop disintegrates the soil
and shoots some particles out. The slashed particles
reach to heights ranging up to 2-5cm and horizontally
upto an average of 5cm depending on their size and
slope of the ground at Garhbeta. The important
influencing factors of rain splash are the mass and
velocity of raindrop and the soil character.


At lateritic Garhbeta badland region sheet

erosion result significant surface wash over the
undulating upland surface upto the gully head during
high intensity precipitation events. The western
section is much bare that results tremendous sheet
flow and surface removal. Whereas the eastern gully
section though the gully channels have more width
and length, the upland surface is less undulating and
gradient averages to 2°-5°. Here the sheet or
overland flow becomes active when sufficient rainfall
occurs (100 mm/hr). The surface particles are also
little smaller (<3mm) compare to western gully sector,
which results high ground water percolation and
steady overland flow especially when sufficient rainfall

Studies of hydraulic characteristics of the flow show

that change from overland flow to rill flow passes through
four stages at Garhbeta; (i) Unconcentrated channel flow,

(ii) Overland flow with concentrated flow paths, (iii) Micro-

channels without head cut and (iv) Micro-channels with

The greatest differences exist between the 1st and 2nd

stage, suggesting that the flow concentration within the
overland flow should strictly be treated as part of an incipient
rill system (Merritt 1984). In the 2nd stage, small vortices
appear in the flow, which, in the 3rd stage, develops into
localised, spots of turbulent characterised by roll waves and
W eddies.

II Based on the surface slope and velocity of flow the rill

channels on Garhbeta lateritic upland can be classified into
m 1 three types :

(a) Small or minor rills, (b) Moderate rills, (c) Major or

developed rills.

Gullies are open erosion channels at least 30cm
deep which conduct ephemeral runoff and are frequently
charac remove vast amounts of soil. Removal of topsoil and subsoil
terized by fast-flowing surface water creates abrupt deep and wide
by gullies, of two different kinds: scouring gullies and
steep headward erosion. In scouring gulling, run-off water
sidew concentrated in rills or depressions removes soil particles.
alls Material commonly moved is the size of fine to medium sand
and aor may be derived from slaking, when large aggregates
lack ofdisintegrate upon wetting. Scouring is often associated with
vegeta gently undulating landscapes.
tend to OF LINEAR EROSION (i.e.
Rills & Gullies) IN
r withThe cause of linear erosion is to be sought in runoff energy,
succe which depends on runoff volume and its squared speed.
of 1. Horton's theory (1945): Runoff starts when rainfall intensity
water exceeds soil absorption capacity. Comparing infiltration to
and rainfall intensity,! absorption
decreases over time partly because capillary potential falls as the wetting
front penetrates into the soil, and partly because soil structure at the
surface was deteriorated.

2. Soil saturation theory: Runoff starts when all the pores in the soil are
filled with water. In the cause of a simulated rainstorm, if runoff starts
after rain has soaked the soil, it will increase until it stabilizes at a level
corresponding to the absorption capacity of the soil. However if the
rainfall persists (runoff may rise again, reaching a new plateau of
stabilized infiltration. This simply means that the tilled horizon has
reached saturation, so that the macroporous storage capacity of this
horizon is filled to overflowing. If the underlying horizon is totally
impervious, the amount of runoff will correspond precisely to that of the
simulated rainfall; there may, however be a corresponding to that of the
plough pour. When the soil is totally saturated, any drop of rain will runoff
respective of rainfall intensity.

3. Theory of partial watershed surface contribution to runoff: The runoff

measured at the river-level depends on the area of the saturated soil in the
valley bottom. If watershed surface runoff is measured during the dry
season, it is seen that the river reacts very quickly to rain storms whereas
no runoff is seen on the slopes! The volume of is less during this dry period
because only a narrow ship in the valley bottom is saturated - often only
the minor bed. At the end of the winter, however, when the whole soil
cover has been soaked to capacity, the slightest rainfall replenishes the
aquifer, which will spread out sideways, saturating a greater areas of the
valley. As a result, even if there is no runoff on the slope during the rainy
season, the entire watershed well contribute to the volume of flow in the
river through extension of the saturated area, in as much as the ground
water is recharged directly by draining the entire basin.

The stages of weathering and erosion observed in the region are:

1. The Preparatory Stage

During this stage the surface is prepared for sculpturing. Based on seasonal
characteristics of climate such preparatory stage can classified into winter and
summer conditions.
1a. Surface preparation during winter condition (December -
February) : Just after the monsoon the surface moisture is
reduced gradually due to lowering of atmospheric humidity.
Significant fluctuation of diurnal, temperature about 18° -20°C, is
found which results destru :tion of seasonal vegetation mainly
grasses at different stages of the badland sector of Garhbeta.
During December and January when the minimum temperature
further goes down below 9°C and atmospheric moisture goes
down below 65% the surface of the terrain become very dry and
loose and numerous cracks and joints progresses with surface
contraction over the lateritic upland.

The depth to ground water level in the phreatic zone gets

low in winter months and varies between 1.5m to 9metres below
land surface. The winter season persists upto February and
before onset of summer a transitional period occurs for about 15 -
20 days.

1b. Surface preparation during summer condition (March - May):

During summer the atmospheric temperature at daytime at
Garhbeta increases up to 45°C. However, at night, the
temperature goes down to 25°C. This fluctuation encourages
significant processes of mechanical weathering. The bare dark
colored and granular surface of the lateritic upland of Garhbeta
makes suitable conditions for weathering processes to be
maintained. Occasional occurrences of thunderstorms (locally
called Kalbaisakhi) transport loose and unconsolidated surface
materials, which are afterwards washed out more easily by the
surface runoff or sheet wash.

From middle of May up to the 2nd week of June, the

groundwater regime further goes down from 2.8 to 18.0 metres
below land surface. This lowering of groundwater also has
significant impact of laterisation process and surface wash after a
prolonged dry season. Therefore, in the preparatory stage the
seasonal and diurnal fluctuation of air and surface temperature
along with the fluctuating groundwater make suitable
preconditions for fluvial erosion with formation of rills and gullies
during the rainy season.

2. Surface erosion stage / Processing stage

The surface erosion stage at Garhbeta starts from middle of

June at the onset of monsoon rains. The factors that influences
soil erosion by water is the mean annual rainfall and rainfall
intensity. Severe erosion in the badland sector of Garhbeta is
associated and accentuated with high mean annual rainfall
(about 1400mm and poor growth of vegetation).

As observed by Bandyopadhyay (1988), a distinct 3-tier

gully development, genetically unrelated to each often, is seen
in the region. Numerous but small (depth : 1-2m) gullies under
the first tier develop above the escarpment, etched on the top
most laterite hardcap. 4 to 5 gullies of the first tier open out into a
single gully of the 2nd tier (depth : 10 - 15m) that extends
headward with basal sapping 3-10m below the top level
duricrust & with the consequent retreat of the escarpment. The
material deposited by the 2nd tier gullies in the erosional plain
created by the retreating escarpment are found to be dissected
by the gullies of the 3rd tier (depth : 0.5 - 1m) which are

Types and Number of Gully Channels at Garhbeta badland (Eastern Sector)

Gully Type
No. of gully chann els
% to total En. Gully network
Very small gullies
Liss Ill-Pan merged image of 2001 and GPS survey
Small gullies
Medium gullies
Deep & narrow gullies


General Classification of gully channels at

Garhbeta badland
No. Name Type Depth Sid
Width (m)
(m) slope
1 Very small gullies Gi <1.5 <10.0 <8
2 Small gullies G2 1.5-3.0 10.0-15.0 8-15
3 Medium gullies G3 3.0-9.0 15.0-18.0 15-45
4 Deep & narrow gullies G4 >9.0 >18.0 >45
The riverine gullies of Garhbeta area are characterized
by three common morphological features e.g. gully-head,
gullyneck and gully body. The morphometric properties of a
sample gully draining into the Silai river include 'notched shape'
of gully head with a maximum width of 3.9m and constricted
section of 2.0m width, narrow gully neck of 2.5m thickness and
elongated shape of gully body of 35m length. Besides a few
exceptions, almost all of the gullies are characterized by plunge
pools'. The longitudinal profile of an active gully denotes the
presence of gully heads, gully heads, gully neck, cliff face,
plunge pools, and gully body on the basis of morphological
characteristics the gully heads have been divided into four types
viz. (i) pointed gully head (ii) circular gully head (iii) notched
gully head and (iv) digitate gully head.

The gullies of Garhbeta area vary significantly as regards

their shapes and morphological characteristics and thus they
have been classified into six types e.g. (i) linear gullies (ii) parallel
gullies (iii) gullies (iv) bulbous gullies (v) rectangular gullies and
(vi) mixed gullies represents different morphometric properties of
sample gullies. Linear gullies are long (13.9m to 60m) with
pointed narrow gully heads (ranging in length from 2.2m to 2.6m).
Sometimes, a few very small tributary rills also develop on either
side of the main gully body. It may be pointed out that linear
gullies no longer always remain narrow because their valleys are
broadened and are transformed into bulbous, trellis or mixed
types. They generally develop in the area having highest
concentration of surface run-off through a single channel. They
undergo the fastest rate of advancement through headward
erosion. In a single rainy season, the extension of linear gullies
ranges from 10m to 20m Parallel gullies, which represent group of
linear gullies, have developed on concave side of the Siiai river at
Garhbeta. Trellis gullies have developed on moderately sloping
ground with multiple channel flow of accelerated surface run off. It
is evident that trellis pattern of gullies is characterized by longest
length of gully heads (10m to 28m) and greater depths (8.1m to

Bulbous gullies have developed in areas having moderate

flow of surface run off with maximum exhumation of soluble
minerals from A horizon of the soil profile B, and B horizons.
Semicircular or amphitheatre like heads of bulbous gullies
generally develop due to buckling down of A horizon fostered by
excessive mudflow

Sample Gully No.

Longitudinal Section
Morpholo gical
Group of Gully
Morpholo gical
Group of
Longitudi nal
Section of
Length of Gully Head (Ml)
Length of Gully Body (Mf)
Pointed I Pointed

through B horizons. Rectangular gullies have very poorly

developed in the study area.



Shape of macro gully in western sector of
Garhbeta have been determined from which idea of
gully head, gully floor and gully side walls can be
done. Through the determination of gully shape the

■ following table can be represented -

From Gully Head (facing Silai Nadi)

Right Wall Le
Tributary Gully Intervening Spur Tributary Gully
angles angles angles
ZB = 130° ZC = 97° Z L = 130°
ZD = 103° ZE = 76° ZR = 147°
ZF % 70° ZG = 68° ZS = 127°
Zl = 122° Z H = 120° ZU = 60*
Z K = 131° ZJ = 42° ZV = 100°
ZL = 165° ZM = 87° ZX = 84°
ZN = 178° ZAi = 130° ZB = 59°
ZB = 130° ZCi = 110°
Average = Average = 81°40' Average =111° Average = 79°50


As seen before, the badlands of Garhbeta can be classified as
western (or less matured) and eastern (or matured) parts. In the western
part, gullies are short and discontinuous, slope of the gully wall is between
60-90°; their height varies between 18-25m. Whereas in the eastern part,
gullies have greater length; slope is gentle and convex (5-45); height of the
gully wall is below 15m. Our observation shows the orientations of the gullies
are very much integrated with nature and properties of laterite profile. The
profile shows, there are 4-5 distinct horizons and due to differential
sedimentary composition each profile has differential resistance to erosion.
As a result gullies in Ganganir Danga occur in different levels. One set of
gully drain the surface of the lateritic duricrust and the other cut into the lower
horizons originating from the retreating cliff line.

Distinct characteristic difference can be seen between eastern and

western gully channels. V-shaped gullies form in material that is equally or
increasingly resistant to erosion with depth. U-shaped gullies form in material
that is equally or decreasingly resistant to erosion with depth. As the
substratum is washed away, the overlying material loses its support and falls
into the gully to be washed away. Most V-shaped gullies become modified
toward a U shape once the channel stabilizes and the banks start to spell
and slump.


Long profile is the section or line which can be obtained by plotting
the axial line of the channel from source to mouth. As gully slopes are
commonly steep in the headward sides and gentle in the lower reaches
profiles are normally concave upwards.

Here Macro, Meso and Micro types of longitudinal profiles are

determined by the use of clinometer, Abney level and prismatic compass.
While determining the longitudinal profiles an idea can be done of the slope
of longitudinal profile. For e.g.,
cliff slopes are found on escarpment faces. Cliffs are so steep (40° or more)
that the products of weathering for the most part fall immediately to the base.
There is little or no accumulation of detritus on the cliff itself and it is therefore
commonly and meaningfully referred to by geomorphologists as a free-face.

Scree slopes are also found which varies from 35° or more in the
longitudinal profile. Aggradational slopes are seen in the longitudinal profile. It
varies from 20° -35°. Eventually the cliff may disappear entirely to be replaced
by a wholly aggradatinal slope at 20° - 35°. In its lower part, a longitudinal
profile will commonly exhibit a concave section. Rectilinear slope profile is
often observed in the Garhbeta badland area which is straight in profile.


On the basis of survey by dumpy level and prismatic compass relief features
are obtained for a gully catchment area. Through this survey in a catchment
area it is found that high relief is found in the Eastern and Southern part.
Based on this variation of relief features serial profiles are drawn and they are
superimposed to identify the micro relief features of the gully catchment area.

Some useful data on Garhbeta badland:

SI Parameters Quantifi
1 Present total area covered by 3
2 Area occupied by Eastern gully
Western gully
3 Average extension of area under badlands (for the 56.
last 8 years)
4 Total length of escarpment
Role of escarpment retreat Maximum 8
Average 10-1
5 Height of the escarpment Maximum
6 Average slope of the terrain
7 Area affected be sheet 14%
8 Area affected by rill erosion
9 Area affected by gully 72% of total
10 Linear extension of rill Maximum
11 Linear / headward extention of Maximum
gully channels
12 Gully channel morphology Slide slope Maximum
Depth Maximum
Width Maximum
Length Maximum

The impact of Gully Erosion are -

(i) Gully erosion means the loss of large volumes of soil.

(ii) Deep wide gullies, sometimes reaching 30m deep, severely
limit the use of the land.
(t«) Off-site deposition of soil causes water-qualify decline in
streams or rivers.
(iv) Large gullies disrupt normal form operations, creating
access problems for vehicles and stock.
(v) Low soil organic matter levels, lower fertility levels,
changes in soil pH, exposed subsoil and parent material
discourage crop production in gullies and rills.
Soil erosion in the badlands of Garhbeta has serious
impact on the surrounding environment by decreasing soil fertility
and land productivity. It also reduces the capacity of soil to absorb
rainfall that often results in increased flooding and reduced
ground-water recharge, augmenting sediment loads in rivers and
streams. This degrades the quality of water supplied downstream
and cause silting of channels and reservoirs, in turn, increasing
risks of flooding and reduction in dry* season water supply. Such
an area was selected by us for study, because all stages of water
erosion, channel initialization, rill and gully development slope
evolution, and other land sculpturing activities are found in this
rather meso-scale topographic unit. Geomorphological
investigation of water erosion on land sculpturing, role of fluvial
action on a specific land and significance of climatic variables on
development of badland topography. The badland though covers
a small area, is a natural plot in itself for carrying out fluvio
geomorphological investigations and research through real time
monitoring techniques.

A greenbelt has been created by the State Agriculture

Department since 1969 to check gully erosion at Gangani. The
green belt is initiated along the divide region to the south of the
badlands mainly using cashewnut (Anacardium occidentale). But
the 2nd tier gullies of Gangani are advancing by undercutting. The
process is operating 4 to 10m below the protected surface. So the
plantation of cashewnuts may not be able to check the gully-
advancement. Trees of other species, such as Sal (Shorea
robusta), which are able to penetrate the root system below the
laterite horizon would perhaps make a better choice (It may be
noted that laterites are indurate only after their exposition to the
atmosphere. At present, the gullies in Gangani are creating
agricultural areas rather than destroying it. Crop-cultivation,
mainly rice & vegetables, is practised in small plots in the
recessional depositional
surface left exposed by the retreating cliff-line.
(i) A. B. Chatterjee. Et al. (ed) West Bengal; Geographical
Institute, Presidency College, Calcutta, pp. 16 -29.
(ii) Das, K. and Bandyopadhyay, S|1995: Badland
development over laterite duricrust. In Jog. S. R. (Ed.):
Indian Geomorphology, 1 Rawat Pub. New Delhi, pp. 31
- 42.
(iii) Fairbridge, R. W., Scheidegger, A. E., and Schumm, S.
A. 1968: Badlands the Encyclopedia of
Geomorphology Reinhold Book Corporation, New York,
pp. 43-48.
(iv) Faniran, A., and Jeje, L.K. 1983:/-/t//77/af Tropical
Geomorphology Longman, Lond, pp. 61 - 63 & 245 -
(v) Goudie, A. 1975: Duricrusts in Tropical and
Subtropical Landscapes Oxford Clarendon Press, Lond,
p. 6 & 72.
(vi) Kar, A., and Bandyopadhyay, M. K. 1974:Mechanism of
Rills: an investigation in Micro-Geomorphology
(Garhbeta Badlands) Geogr. Rev. India., Vol. 36(3), pp.
(vii) Leopold, L. B., Wolman, M. G. and Miller, J. P.
1964:F/i/w'a/ Processes in Geomorphology Freeman,
San Francisco, p. 522.
(viii) Majumdar. S. C. 1941: Rivers of Bengal Delta Rivers of
Bengal - A compilation., Vol. (1), pp. 1-102.
(ix) Niyogi, D., Mallick, S. 1973: Morphology of Midnapur
District, West Bengal Proc. Sem. Geomorphol. And
Geotechnics of the Lower Ganga basin, Ind. Inst. Tech,
pp. A81 - A85.
(x) Sen, J., Sen, S., Bandyopadhyay, S. 2000:
Geomorphological processes and landforms.