Level 2 Detail of experimental conditions (Greenmount)

Description of study


Freebairn and Wockner (1986) monitored runoff and soil movement on five catchments. Catchments are separated by broad-base contour banks with a 0.3% channel slope.

Titmarsh et al. (2009) monitored nitrogen and phosphorous in runoff on six varied plots.

When and Where?

Freebairn and Wockner (1986) established the study in 1976. The “Marylands” property is located 1.3 km northeast of Greenmount, 500 m above sea level and has a northerly aspect. The soil type at Greenmount, a black earth (Ug 5.15; Northcote 1974) derived from basalt is an Udic Pellustert and belongs to the Irving clay soil association. The soil is strongly self-mulching and exhibits gross cracking in a dry condition.  Annual mean rainfall for the site was 509mm.

Titmarsh et al. (2009) studied six varied plots all on a cracking clay. Bay 0 was a pastured plot and had an area of 0.71 ha whilst Bay 1, 2, 3 and 4 were cropped with areas of 1.32, 1.22, 1.16 and 1.44 ha respectively. Lott’s plot was made up of pasture and forest and had an area of 23 ha.


Freebairn and Wockner (1986) practiced three cropping systems for the first two years (1976-77) - summer cropping, winter cropping and double cropping. In each of the following six years (1978-84), four catchments were devoted to winter crop (wheat) with intervening summer fallow and a fifth to summer crop, at each site.

Samples of runoff were collected at the weir or flume for determination of suspended sediment.  Samples were collected by a rising stage sediment sampler. Rills were measured by field survey immediately after each erosion event.

The volume of soil deposited in the contour channels was determined after each major erosion event.  The depth and area of each fan was determined by walking through the wet fans and measuring depth of loose soil.

Titmarsh et al. (2009) collected data for each plot including land use and land management practices, rainfall (intensity, depth) and runoff (quantity).  Runoff samples (using rising stage and pumping samplers and hand samples) were collected and stored at less than 4oC within 24 hours. All runoff samples were then held in acid-washed polyethylene bottles and frozen until analysed. Rainfall samples were collected from five of the sites across the region and treated similarly.

Project administration

Site identifier code: SMPG

Principal investigator: Freebairn D and Titmarsh G.

Principal data manager: -N/A

Principal organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Department of Primary Industries

Data custodian: Department of Natural Resources

Key co-operators: N/A

Data access policy: Research has been published but base data is not archived

Planned pathway for data: completed study, no evidence of formal database records.

Data warehousing: for ongoing studies – N/A

Planned data upload frequency: for ongoing studies – N/A

Key references and sources of this data synthesis

These data summaries have been extracted from

  1. Freebairn DM and Wockner GH. (1986). A study of soil erosion on Vertisols of the Eastern Darling Downs, Queensland. I Effects of surface conditions on soil movement within contour bay catchments. Australian Journal of Soil Research 24:135-58.
  2. Freebairn DM. Surface Management Project – Greenmount Hydstra Brief, project code SMPG.
  3. Freebairn DM and Cutajar J. (2012). Greenmount HowLeaky Assessment.
  4. Titmarsh G, Cameron A, and Lock C. (2009). Nitrogen and phosphorous in runoff from small catchments in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin increases with intensity of catchment land use.


Erosion, surface conditions, soil loss, nitrogen, phosphorous

Level 1, level 3, level 4, and level 5