Gully processes and gully dynamics

M. J. Kirkby*, L. J. Bracken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


This synthetic review of gully morphology and genesis focuses on incised semi-permanent gully systems rather than on shallow ephemeral gullies. It examines the conditions for gully formation; a sharp step to initiate a headcut, a sufficiently low effective bedload fraction to evacuate eroded material, and the potential to maintain steep sidewalls, usually dominated by mass movement processes. Gully formation is also favoured by an indurated surface layer which maintains steep sideslopes, often with armouring material from the capping layer, and a sharp headcut which does not diffuse away. Two different approaches towards the areal modelling of gully system development agree in treating the ratio of advective (channel) to diffusive (sideslope) processes as a key determinant of the morphology of a gully system as it evolves. Implications for gully prevention and remediation are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-1851
Number of pages11
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number14
Early online date28 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


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