Images of Tarwyn Park after the flood in June 2007

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duane
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Images of Tarwyn Park after the flood in June 2007

Postby duane » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:57 am

Thanks to Ian, Shirley and Rose these images can now be seen here....

At the very core of NSF are Peter's observations how this dry and flat landscape managed its water and fertility cycles.
His observations are confirmed almost everywhere he goes...Nature does nothing needlessly, so these processes, he claims, are universally. Its only the scale and the vegetation that varies.

The first thing to recognise is that our floodplain/stream/river sytems ran in both the steepest catchment systems to the flattest floodplain systems, eg the MDBS, the Hay plains.

This system was what geomorphologists called a valley fill system. Sediment was spread across the landscape during peak flooding and this sediment built the floodplain sytems. They were very stable systems up to 8-10 thousand years old.

In order that these floodplains could be built the water bodies had to have been PERCHED i.e. they had to be the HIGHEST point in the floodplain system, and these water bodies (rivers, creeks and streams) had to be growing continually as well to remain above the floodplain.

How did these water bodies do this in the Australian landscape??? They were not continous water bodies as we europeans think of them. They were a perched series of ponds or rather wetlands that "stepped" down the valley floor. These wetlands were FULL of plants which choked the water bodies, trapping and processing all the sediment and debris turning it in 'liquid fertilizer', and holding it till the next rain event that triggered a flood and a new cycle.

As the flood rose these wetlands spilled out onto the floodplains into runnels until finally the landscape was covered and filled with water. as the flood receeded all this debris and sediment had been spread over the floodplain....silt, sand, sediment, humus, manure, carcasses etc etc., All for nothing all FREE under the force of gravity. It was and is a BRILLANT system....unique to the Australian landscape.

Here are some pictures to illustrate

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1. creek in flood with pool/riffle choked artifically with rock
2.floodplain runnels
3.floodplain runnels carrying water to billabongs and high ground
4.billabong/wetland
5. creek originally choked with willows which have done their job and are now dead and dying being replaced naturally by the native Sheoaks (secondary colonisers)
6.fertile floodplain
Last edited by duane on Thu May 01, 2008 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

duane
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Postby duane » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:58 pm

The literature is full of work citing that the cause of salinity is rising water tables and that the answer to this salinity problem is to plant more trees to draw the water table down or else drain the landscape.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

The Australian landscape could not have survived if this was the case i.e., removing water from the root zone of plants.

The Australian environment has the longest hours of sunlight with the resultant loss of 2.5m a year thru evoporation. Some areas of this country only recieve a fraction of that in AAR. How could plants survive that deficiency??

The fact that we had rain forest and pine forest and mixed forest and grasslands covering most of the country...all these plants needed water. And in the floodplains this water was captured and held duringpeak rain events. This caused a PULSING in the landscape which meant that water even though in the ground it was continually moving...not evaporating because of the vegetative cover. This was a naturally devised irrigation system with 100% EFFICIENCY.

Tradition irrigation is 5% EFFICIENT (CSIRO Figs). Look closely at the previous photos of Tarwyn Park. Heavy ground cover with enormous biodiversity.... exotic grasses, native grasses, exotic legumes and clovers, native legumes, herbs and 'weeds'. In fact, one of the key components of TP is the fact that there is over 100 spp of biodiverse forage. And this is supported by a water table that is between 400-1000mm below the surface. This is the freshwater lens that sits atop the deeper more saline groundwater below.

These photos show an Australian wetland system in full action....a floodplain full of water covered by a dense permanent biodiversity of plants......floodplain runnels carrying water to the high ground from flood filled ground....billabongs providing refuge for fish and birdlife....the Austarlain landscape had the capacity to farm water...it evolved that way over millenia.

We just had a situation last weekend where after 12-14 straight days of wet weather the Hunter River peaked just a foot below the Morpeth Bridge. Enough water to fill Warragamba 10 times over .....and where did it all end up?????INTO THE SEA and Mr Iemma saying we will spend billions of dollars building a desalination plant to get it all back.

Now I ask you: Where is the LOGIC in that???

duane
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Postby duane » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:07 pm

Here is Peter's explanation of the above taken from http://www.carbohydration.com.au/baramul/01.html

Peter Andrews was interviewed by Martin Royds at Baramul Stud on the Widden Creek, Hunter Valley.

How it all started

Could you describe what this stream was like before you started putting in your structures?
The big trees were there but none of the small trees. Basically it was just sand.
We still had about four metres of sand running over the bedrock, so most of the things that are constructed here are sitting on the sand. There was no excavation down into the bedrock or anything like that.

What was the first process you went through here?
It was to throw rocks into the creek in a pattern which causes the de-energising of the water as it flows through the landscape. It has been excellently demonstrated here at Baramul.
The Australian landscape has two fundamental requirements. It must stop headwall cuts from starting, and it must allow for an unlimited maximum water flow through the landscape without an increase in velocity on the ground. The surface velocity happens, but it created a bed of slow moving water at the interface between the grass and the soil and the big flood waters went over the top of that. It created a natural road that the water ran on. Then as the flood rose, it kept changing the pattern of the water and mixing it, until it got a metre off the ground then the whole lot just went straight through. It is an amazing system.

Is the secret of that working that when the big flood did come, the whole landscape was already hydrated and full of water, so then there was nowhere for the headwall cut to start?
Well, the rivers were perched, that is, higher than the surrounding landscape because the water was carrying the sediment which was progressively trapped by the in-stream vegetation so that it grew faster than the rest. In these wetland systems, a step was able to develop so that that the pattern then could then be repeated. Without this stepping system obviously it doesn’t make sense. The water could never get back into the stream. If it’s running away all the time, it could never make a stream. But at points like this, where we are now, the water is running away but when we go downstream, it will be running in again.

That was the mixing process which prevented erosion. Because the stream line was above the rest, it meant only a minimum flow could stay in the stream line, then it spilled out across the floodplain. The landscape built itself and it did it using plants and fertility. But clearly, if we’re aiming to put it back the way it used to be, it’s like if you were going to repair a person’s body after an injury. It will work a lot better if you don’t start stitching things on all over the place. For example, if I took a kidney and attached it to your ear, it would work, but if someone gave you a smack on the ear, you’d have a very serious kidney problem and that’s what we are doing to the landscape.

duane
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:44 pm
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Postby duane » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:26 pm

Here is a typical piece about water tables: from http://www.afg.asn.au/resources/pdfs/Gr ... r%2001.pdf

PLANTATIONS ARE ARRESTING RISING WATER TABLES AT LAKE MUIR
by Roger Hearn CALM

Timber plantations are often the best long term solution to salt and
waterlogging, but economic viability, social circumstances and risk
often work against their effective use.

Shirley Henderson
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Location: Thirlmere

Postby Shirley Henderson » Thu May 01, 2008 8:28 pm

Image
For those of you that have not seen the Hay Plains. Here it is. I drove through this about a week ago and saw lots of dust and whirly winds :shock: . It looks like a desert and a few tractors ploughing wih huge amounts of dust blowing behind them that looked like smoke.

Shirley Henderson
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

New DVD

Postby Shirley Henderson » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:46 pm

I just watched Peters new DVD. I thought it was fantastic. I have been looking at some photos I took recently of water flowing where I work. (It's usually dry). The water was flowing in torrents in some areas but I could see it clearly being de-energised and slowed where the water met another flow. Rushing water suddenly becomes calm. Other areas much sediment and new plant growth was just washed away. New ponds were left behind but unless something is done about the degradation any new regeneration will just wash away in the next big flow. 30 years ago a road was put straight across this waterway creating a dam. The road cut off the flow of water and dammed up. Im sure that is what was attended but now I see the water etching out another path. It no longer flows down the gully/creek but has found a new way through the bush. Two streams of water flowed over the road at the far end, through the bush meandering around trees and into a tiny creek that must have been formed over the years of low rainfall. Now with the heavy rain we have been getting here the 2 streams flow out of the dam and rush to this tiny creek where the 2 streams meet with great force. This is where the calm water then formed..but unfortunatly the calm was short lived due to erosion and sharp drop in between two huge trees with massive roots. The water then speeds up taking everything in its path with it. Further down the creek, again two rushing waters meet and again the slowing of water is clearly visible. I cant wait until Peters methods are commonly accepted as "THE BEST WAY" because as far as I am concerned its not a matter of If but WHEN. Also during the coarse of working at the reserve I have left as much vegetation in the creek as possible and I am glad to say that in many areas it held together very well. I hate to think about the sediment and soil that would have been washed away if I had removed the weeds trying to preserve only the natives.
Shirley

dustyrob
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Re:

Postby dustyrob » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:40 am

duane wrote:Heavy ground cover with enormous biodiversity.... exotic grasses, native grasses, exotic legumes and clovers, native legumes, herbs and 'weeds'.


Can I ask which native legumes?


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