Contact Info: Mahdi M. Al-Kaisi, Email:,
2104 Agronomy Hall Ames, IA 50011-1010, Phone: (515) 294-1923
Copyright © 2002, Iowa State University Agronomy Extension, Ames, Iowa.
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Ephemeral Gully. An ephemeral gully is a small channel eroded by runoff that can be leveled by normal tillage, but will reform again at the same location during following runoff events.
Severe Gully Erosion. Gullies are well-defined channels that are created by concentrated, but intermittent flow both during and immediately following rain events. Gullies are often deeper than 1.5 feet and cannot be leveled by normal tillage operations. Gullies usually contribute only a small amount to soil loss, but the size and location cause them to be a nuisance.
Sedimentation near the fence line and road ditch where surface water runoff was slowed by grass vegetation. Northeast Iowa.
Sedimentation around a tile inlet in Northeast Iowa.
Rill Erosion. Rills are small (generally less than 2 inches deep), intermittent channels that are eroded into the soil surface by runoff from most rainfall events. Rills are easily leveled with normal tillage operations, but are considered to be the most predominant form of erosion.
Water erosion will not only transport soil, but also crop residues, depositing them where the runoff flow slows. Northeast Iowa.
The beginnings of ephemeral gully erosion in early spring from a field in Northeast Iowa.
Soil erosion due to urban development often exceeds 40 tons per acre per year (typical agricultural land is usually less than 10 tons per acre per year).
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