Territory Stories

Soil and Land Assessment of the Southern Part of Flying Fox Station for Irrigated Agriculture. Part A: Land Resources and General Land Capability.

Details:

Title

Soil and Land Assessment of the Southern Part of Flying Fox Station for Irrigated Agriculture. Part A: Land Resources and General Land Capability.

Other title

Agricultural Land Suitability Series, Report 14A

Creator

Andrews, K; Burgess, J; McGrath, N; Wright, A; Walton, S; Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

Editor

Hill, J.V.

Collection

E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Technical Report No. 3/2021

Date

2021-03-01

Location

Flying Fox Station; Roper River Region

Description

This report presents findings from a 52 938 ha soil and land resource mapping investigation of the southern part of Flying Fox Station, in the Roper River Region of the Northern Territory. While the study area was primarily selected because of its diverse geology, terrain and soils, it is also representative of the central Roper River region, and findings from the investigation will underpin and guide future agricultural development in the region.

Notes

Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

Executive Summary; 1. Introduction; 2. Previous land resource investigations; 3. Methodology; 4. Climate; 5. Geology; 6. Landscapes; 7. Land units; 8. Land capability assessment; 9. Land management; 10. References; Appendices.

Language

English

Subject

soil survey; land resource assessment; land units; land capability assessment

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication

Palmerston

Edition

1

Series

Technical Report No. 3/2021

Format

208 pages : colour maps and illustrations ; 30cm

File type

application/pdf

ISBN

9781743502815

Use

Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government

License

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Related links

http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/metadata/export_data?type=html&metadata_id=6589A5D125EFB385E050CD9B2144202B; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/820014 [Report_print_Soil Land Assessment Flying Fox - Part A Land Resources General Land Capability]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/820013 [Report_screen_Soil Land Assessment Flying Fox - Part A Land Resources General Land Capability]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/829192 [Soil and Land Assessment of the Southern Part of Flying Fox Station for Irrigated Agriculture. Part B: Digital Soil Mapping and Crop Specific Land Suitability]

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/820012

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/820013

Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/820014

Page content

Soil and Land Assessment of the Southern Part of Flying Fox Station for Irrigated Agriculture Part A: Land Resources and General Land Capability 106 Requirements for further investigation Land units 9d, 9e1 and 9e2 Caveats similar to those outlined for Land Units 7a1, 7a2, 8b and 8c would also apply to Land Units 9d, 9e1 and 9e2, and development approvals would be contingent upon further investigations and stringent conditioning. Applications would need to demonstrate (through locally relevant flood modelling), that an acceptable post-disturbance flood risk was achievable (on the land in question); and could be managed through avoidance, surface cover management and flood mitigation design and construction. Submissions would need to demonstrate that mitigation measures were practical and effective, and would not impact the functionality or ecology of the floodplain (i.e. not cause detrimental offsite flood risks or environmental impacts to riparian/wetland systems). In particular, they would need to show how backplain overflow channels and local riparian zones were to be avoided and buffered. Finally, detailed paddock scale soil investigations would need to quantify on-site constraints (other than flooding) to ensure development siting, clearing methods and necessary mitigation works (such as flood levees and land levelling) were in accordance with appropriate erosion and sediment control planning and management; and that salinity and sodicity constraints in exposed subsoil materials were appropriately managed. Laboratory testing of salinity and sodicity constraints would be required for this purpose. 8.3.3 Constrained lands not recommended for development Class 4 Flooded alluvial plains with sodicity and wetness constraints (LU 9c2, 9c3, 11e) Class 4 River channels and creek flats constrained by erosive flooding (LU 9a, 9c1, 10e) Class 4 Elevated sloping hard rock landscapes (LU 1a, 2c, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6b, 6c) Land Units 9a, 9c1, 9c2, 9c3, 10e and 11e are regularly to frequently flooded alluvial landscapes, while Land Units 1a, 2c, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6b, 6c occupy elevated, sloping, rocky lands. Severe to extreme constraints in all units make them inappropriate for agricultural development. Class 4 Flooded alluvial plains with sodicity and wetness constraints (LU 9c2, 9c3, 11e) Land Units 9c2, 9c3 and 11e occupy 9% of the study area (4860 ha), and are associated with undifferentiated alluvial/colluvial plains (LU 9c2), low-lying alluvial drainage floors (LU 9c3) and ephemeral swamps (LU 11e). Constraints within these units include regular to frequent low energy flooding (ARI >1:2- 1:10 years), slight to moderate salinity (ECe 1.15-4.00 dS/m) (LU 9c2 and 11e only), extreme sodicity at shallow depths (ESP > 20% 0-0.6 m), poor to imperfect drainage and spatially variable but persistent normal or melonhole gilgai (VI < 0.3-0.8 m) (LU 9c2 and 11e only). These lands are clearly inappropriate for agricultural development because of obvious flooding, sodicity and wetness constraints. The combined effects of regular to frequent inundation, limited permeability (sodic clay subsoils), restricted drainage and melonhole gilgai mean excessively wet soil conditions are a persistent feature of these units; and will severely limit their productive capacity. In addition, dispersive clay at shallow depths (below about 0.20.3 m) predisposes the soils to potential gully and tunnel erosion wherever subsoil exposure from sheet erosion, earthwork construction or poorly managed cultivation practices is not managed. The severity of constraints mean an unacceptable level of inputs, expertise and investment would be required to develop and manage these lands sustainably; making it either impractical, uneconomic or environmentally unsound to proceed. Where development is


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