Freeze-thaw induced gully wall collapse and related factors in northeast China

Beijing Normal University

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the National Key Research and Development Program of China

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    Gully erosion is one of the most important factors to cause land degradation. In the black soil area of northeast China, gully erosion is more severe and deeply affected by freeze-thaw effects. However, there is little research on the evaluation of freeze-thaw cycles (FTCs) on gully erosion. Due to the fact that gully wall collapse is the main response of gully erosion to FTCs, the contribution of FTCs to gully erosion can be evaluated by measuring the volume of gully wall collapse during FTCs. Between 2016 and 2018, field investigations were conducted on a total of 463 collapse points in 36 gullies. Based on the survey results, there are two main types of gully wall collapse: massy soil collapse and loose soil accumulation. At each collapse point, measure the morphological parameters of two types of accumulations, including the volume of collapsed soil, the width and depth of the gully cross-section, and the shear force and hardness of the corresponding gully wall soil. The result shows that: (1) the average strength of gully wall collapse caused by FTCs during the three-year study period is 16.12 m3/km/y. The two types of freeze-thaw collapse occur randomly within the gully, with the single point freeze-thaw collapse mainly concentrated in 0-3 m3, but massy soil collapse will produce a larger amount of soil. (2) the width and depth of gully cross-section is the most important factors to induce the collapse of gully wall, furthermore, the volume of collapse soil will quickly increase once the width to depth ratio>2.71. (3) the amount of gully collapse is also closely related to the shear force and hardness of the soil on the gully wall. The research results provide data support for quantitatively evaluating the contribution of FTCs to gully erosion.

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  • Received:August 31,2023
  • Revised:October 23,2023
  • Adopted:October 24,2023
  • Online: February 05,2024
  • Published: