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Filling gullies to create farmland on the Loess Plateau
author: source: Time:2013-07-18 font< big medium small >

The Loess Plateau region of China covers an area of about 648 700 km2 and supplies a large proportion of the nation’s food. The soils derived from loessial deposits are poorly structured and are highly susceptible to erosion by water in an area that covers about 70% of the Plateau. In its most severe form, water erosion has resulted in gully formation so that the Loess Plateau now has a unique landscape that is incised by numerous gullies, of which 270 000 are longer than 500 m, which hinder agricultural and industrial development. Therefore, the further restoration of this large area of the Loess Plateau is a serious problem confronting China. we deem that filling gullies to create farmland on the Loess Plateau should be considered.

The researchers of IEECAS suggested approach would be to remove soil from the higher hills, the ridges of which would be flattened in the process, and to push the soil into the gullies, compacting it to make it less susceptible to tunneling and subsidence, and ultimately to level the surface to create flat or gently sloping fields. Afterward, the new topsoil should be cultivated to make it suitable for crop growth. This measure of filling gullies would have the following advantages: (1) Filling gullies saves water; (2) Filling gullies to create farmland for food security; (3) Filling gullies to reduce disasters. we propose to reclaim cropland by filling gullies to sustainably control and make full use of the resources on the Loess Plateau.

Paper Link:

Qiang Liu, Yunqiang Wang, Jing Zhang, and Yiping Chen. Filling gullies to create farmland on the Loess Plateau. Environmental Science & Technology 2013 47 (14), 7589-7590

http://pubs.acs.org/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1021%2Fes402460r

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