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



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


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


Hill, J.V.


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




Flying Fox Station; Roper River Region


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.


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.




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

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication





Technical Report No. 3/2021


208 pages : colour maps and illustrations ; 30cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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]

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Soil and Land Assessment of the Southern Part of Flying Fox Station for Irrigated Agriculture Part A: Land Resources and General Land Capability ii Key Findings 1. Five geologic landscapes and twenty-two land units were mapped ranging from rugged sandstone plateaux to low hills, rises and pediments, doleritic low rises and plains and widespread colluvium, alluvium and active drainage systems, including the Roper River floodplain. 2. General Land Capability mapping indicates Class 1 lands (with negligible constraints) were not identified. Class 2 lands (with minor to moderate constraints) are restricted to Land Unit 8d. This Land Unit occupies very gentle, doleritic-derived colluvial plains with very deep (>1.5 m), self-mulching brown or grey clays. Constraints are only minor and the unit is generally considered capable of broadacre agricultural development. 3. Land Units 7d1 and 7d2 (Class 2-4), and 8b and 8c (Class 3-4), occupy level to gently undulating pediments and plains, and exhibit significant variability with regard to the severity and distribution of limiting soil-landscape constraints. Field observations confirm the presence of less constrained arable soils within these units, and suggest limited small-scale development opportunities may exist. The extent and distribution of such opportunities cannot be accurately defined at the current scale of mapping, and detailed soil investigations that accurately map the soils and quantify important constraints (flooding, microrelief, salinity, sodicity, erosion risk, soil depth, drainage and surface rock) would be required. 4. Land Units 9d, 9e1, 9e2 within the active floodplains of the Roper River (Class 4) are subject to significant spatial and temporal flood variability, depending on floodplain position, local elevation and the distribution, depth and density of channelling. Field observations confirm the arable nature of the alluvial clays within these units, and suggest un-channelled level clay floodplain and backplain sections that are subject only to slowly spreading floodwaters may have potential for small-scale development. 5. Salinity assessments indicate that shallow landscape salt loads are developed in the majority of low-lying, clay-rich, alluvial and colluvial units. These landscapes have accrued salt stores because of long-term cyclic salt additions and accession from upslope topographic transmission, and currently remain in equilibrium due to an absence of development and associated hydrological change. The findings suggest such landscapes are prone to an elevated risk of salt mobilisation and secondary salinization with future hydrological change, and confirm the need for detailed salinity risk assessments where intensive irrigation development is proposed. 6. All remaining Land Units are Class 4 due to extreme constraints that preclude a range of developments. Land Units are constrained by severe to extreme slope, erosion risk, shallow soils or excessive rock and are inappropriate for agricultural development.

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