Erosion scars caused by earthflows: a case study of Ol Joro Orok division, Nyandarua district

Citation:
Mungai DN;, Gichuki FN;, Gachene CKK. Erosion scars caused by earthflows: a case study of Ol Joro Orok division, Nyandarua district.; 2000.

Abstract:

This paper describes earthflow features in Nyairoko sub-location of Ol Joro Orok Division, Kenya. In 1989 more than 900 earthflows were counted in Nyandarua District, most of them in Ol Joro Orok and Ol Kalou Divisions. Individual flows affected areas between a few square metres and two hectares. More than 50% of the farms in the area were affected by earthflows. Such earthflows occurred only on grazing land and on convex slopes and were usually the result of extremely slow processes. Soils in the area are mainly moderately well drained, dark reddish brown Luvisols and well-drained, red to reddish-brown Nitisols. The first visible signs were usually shallow scars along the contour, breaking up the grass vegetation. Subsequent soil movement was very gradual. According to old residents of the area some of the earthflow features had been observed as long as 60 years ago and could not be attributed to land use change. One earthflow studied in detail revealed that soil stratification impeded drainage, leading to oversaturation of the topsoil layers and that seasonal subsurface flow generally seemed to be responsible for the soil movement. No obvious triggering could be identified.

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