Effects Of Gully Erosion On The Environment
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Erosion is one of the surface processes that shape the earth’s landscape and is one of the world’s major environmental issues. Soil erosion is possibly the most serious mechanism of tropical land degradation (ElSwaify, et al., 2002). However, gully erosion is the most visually appealing of all types of erosion (El-Swaify, 2000). Gully erosion is a well-defined channel of water wear (Monkhouse and Small, 2008).
It is a recently extended drainage channel with a width of more than 0.3 m and a depth of more than 0.6 m that transmits ephemeral flow, steep side, steeply sloping or vertical head scarf (Brice, 2006). It is a V or U-shaped trench in unconsolidated materials with a minor channel in the bottom that is not always connected to a major stream (Graf,
Similarly, Bettis III (2005) defined a gully as a relatively deep, vertical-walled channel that recently formed within a valley where there was previously no well-defined channel. Gully erosion is a more advanced stage of rill erosion in which surface channels have been eroded to the point where they can no longer be smoothed over by standard tillage operations (Hilborn, 2005).
Gullies can be active (eroding) or inactive (not eroding) (stabilized). According to Poesen et al. (2003), the former can occur where erosion is actively moving up in the landscape via head-cut migration. The causes of gully erosion are unknown, but the processes and factors that contribute to its growth and degradation are well understood (Bettis III, 2005). The study found that gully processes occurred in the past even when no humans were present.
As a result, gully erosion is either naturally induced or artificially induced, or both. Gully erosion, like in other parts of the world, is one of Nigeria’s major environmental challenges.
According to the available literature on the subject, this threat is more prevalent in the eastern half of the country than in the western half. The south-eastern region of Nigeria has been hit harder than the north-eastern region. Soil erosion in the former has been identified as one of the country’s most dangerous environmental hazards (Albert, et al. 2006). Anambra State has been hit the hardest of any state in Nigeria, with the Agulu, Nanka, and Oko communities suffering the most. The available literature has clearly stated that the underlying geology has a large influence on gully development, and the process is often rock type dependent, as some rocks are more prone to erosion than others. There is thus a need to briefly review Nigeria’s geology in order to understand why the phenomenal gully erosion is more prevalent in one part of the country than the other.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Erosion generally degrades land and affects not only plants and animals but is capable of taking human life; though it is a natural disaster, methods of prevention can be considered. Gully erosion appears to be a topic of discussion every rainy season, possibly because the government has decided to turn a deaf ear to the problem, sometimes because they must have tried to work on it but the solution was not long lasting and they thought intervening again would be a total waste of money, leaving them discouraged. Finally, while several studies have been conducted on the effects of erosion on agricultural produce, not a single study has been conducted on the effects of gully erosion on the environment.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The study’s primary goal is to investigate the environmental effects of gully erosion. Other specific study objectives include:
- to assess the environmental impact of gully erosion.
- to identify the factors that cause gully erosion.
- to assess the environmental impact of gully erosion.
- to suggest potential solutions to problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent does gully erosion harm the environment?
- What are the factors that cause gully erosion?
- What is the environmental impact of gully erosion?
- What are the potential solutions to the issues?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Gully erosion has no effect on the environment.
H1: Gully erosion has a significant impact on the environment.
READ ALSO: EFFECTS OF SOIL EROSION IN EMERGING URBAN CENTRE OF AFUZE
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the effects of gully erosion on the environment will be extremely beneficial to the entire Oko, Anambra state in the sense that it will enable the ministry of environment to develop a strategy for dealing with gully erosion not only in Oko but in other Anambra state local government areas that are also facing gully erosion challenges. Finally, the study will add to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of studies, as well as serve as a foundation for future research.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The research on the environmental effects of gully erosion is limited to Oko, Anambra state.
READ ALSO: EFFECTS OF SOIL EROSION ON SETTLEMENT
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Inadequate funding tends to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this study alongside other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A change that occurs as a result of an action or another cause.
A gully is a ravine created by the action of water.
Erosion is the process of being eroded by wind, water, or other natural forces.
The environment is everything around us. It could be either living or non-living things. Physical, chemical, and other natural forces are included. Living things exist in their surroundings.
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