I have marked the pictures with a letter, going from A to M in the landscape. Each spot has one or multiple pictures, usually going from left to right.
A. The overview. This is facing the dirt road that leads down into the valley.
Here you can see the valley itself. The erosion has taken the gorge from about 2-3 meters wide to 8 meters and more.
On the right of this picture there is a terrace above the floodplain through which a large amount of water passes.
B. Another view of the valley but from the top vineyard.
C. This is the point through which a large amount of water passes during heavy rain. It has caused some erosion but not nearly as much as expected.
The rushes in this field indicate the presence of water year round. Apparently this was prime soil for growing crops in the past according to oral history.
C.2 – A view of the terrace above the floodplain, with ‘the waterfall’ on the right.
D. The first view of the rocks that make up the waterfall. Erosion has clearly removed some soil as indicated by the absence of Lichen on the rocks.
The top of the waterfall, looking down. In between the rocks we found a seep spring.
E: Two points from where road water enters the floodplain and causes erosion. One source of road water comes from behind the Oleander bushes in the back. The wall where the water enters used to be taller.
Its a bit difficult to see but right in the middle of this picture is a bit of a hollow before it enters the gulley on the right. Small stones can be seen, left behind by the erosion. All of this water is concentrated by the dirt road that was put in.
F. From here the erosion is very visible. From the bottom (rushes) to the top (grass) is about 2.00m.
Remnants of the effort to canalyze the water. In some places the canal can still be seen, but in many places it has fully collapsed.
G: Facing back towards where the water passes the Oleander. Here the erosion was about 1.80m and the canal was relatively intact.
The soil profile. It is quite obvious how the different layers of soil were deposited over time.
The soil used to reach all the way to the rocks. This is a difference of about 3 meters here.
H: Very similar location as before but from atop the rocks.
The water is obviously trying to bring back a meandering pattern.
Here the water has calmed down quite a bit and the rushes almost reach the original soil levels in quite a few areas.
I: Rushess attempting to stabilize the streamflow. Lots of little pockets of water here, with amphibians living in them.
A fig shading out a hand-dug well. It has year round water and is fenced to keep out the goats. But the goats have destroyed the fence and are able to get it.
The gulley as seen from the well. In the background is a huge stand of Kalamia (reeds). Facing into the dominant wind direction and protecting the grapes behind them.
Here the rushes seem to be untouched and the diggers haven’t fully reached and canalized the water. There is still some erosion visible but much less.
These rushes are HUGE! Sometimes nearly as tall as a person!
Original soil level visible again, due to the absence of lichen.
K: The following picture was taken in the gulley that is forming on the side of the dirt road. The pitch of the road is toward the inside, forming a canal on the side of the mountain. Where the water flows the soil has eroded down almost a whole meter!
A video that shows the erosion happening on the side of the dirt road.
L: Here is a view towards the North, across a vinyard and towards reeds and well we saw before. This is a possible point of intervention for the water that erodes the dirt road.
The point people are pointing at is where the water crosses from one side of the road to the other. The pitch of the road stays angled towards the inside, causing erosion.
Here the water transfers from the right side towards the other side of the road.
M: This is the point from which the most erosion occurs. Almost a hundred meters of road catchment is funneled down into the is relatively small culvert, which is polished almost to a shine due to the abrasive force of the water.
Here you see two different satelite images. The effect of the erosion is clearly visible as in the picture from 2012 the two bridges are still intact!
A selection of different elements that could help resolve the situation.
[ IN THIS SECTION I WILL LATER ADD SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO THEM ]
- Mini Floodplanes!
Here the idea would be to create a series of stepped ponds whose walls leak like a beaver pond does. Water enters the pond in a concentrated way but leaves in a way where the energy has dissipated. We build the system overly large so there is space for the water to go, never allowing the water to overflow its boundaries and cause erosion.
- Media Luna
A half-moon shaped structure who’s function it is to take a concentrated flow of water and spread it out over a larger area.
- Zuni Bowl
A bowl shaped structure that functions to take the energy out of already falling water in a way that does not encourage further erosion of the soil.
- Rock Rundown
A method of armoring an area that would otherwise erode. The water is unable to take the soil away and is slowed down by the rough rocky surface.
- One Rock Dam
A structure that is part of a larger process which attempts to bring the level of a gulley upward. From entrenched and degraded to restored and able to reach its floodplain.
- Beaver Dam Analog
A beaver dam is a leaky dam in the landscape maintained by beavers. Historically they would have covered almost all of the streams and rivers of Europe, until humans intervened. In this case the idea would be to create leaky dams out of woody debris that hold back the water long enough to drop out its sediment, but not be so water tight as to cause a lake to form. Its function is to take the erosive energy out of a peak flow event.
When implementing a design it is important to protect the loose soil from erosion during the establishment phase. One technique that can be used is called Faggotting or using Brush Bundles. These are bundles of small sticks and twigs all rolled up into a bundle about 30cm across. These can then be placed along the bank, either in line with the flow or perpendicular to it.