Original paper

Contemporary development of an atypical bank gully in the Szwajcaria Podlaska Nature Reserve resulting from human activity (E Poland)

Rodzik, Jan; Terpiłowski, Sławomir; Godlewska, Anna; Mroczek, Przemysław


The article describes the mechanics and dynamics of the contemporary development of gully. It dissects a sandy side of the Bug River valley (eastern Poland) up to a depth of 10 m, along a 100 m long fragment of the boundary of the “Szwajcaria Podlaska” Nature Reserve. The development of the gully has been observed since the appearance of its initial form of bank gully at the end of the twentieth century. The main bank gully developed at the boundary of arable fields as a result of the dissection of a ground road parallel to the sandy edge of the valley. A change of the field and road pattern in 1972 contributed to surface runoff concentration. However, strong erosion developed only when very intensive surface runoff occurred (especially from a large potato field located along the ground road) during a torrential rainfall on 28 May 2002. The amount of eroded material exceeded then 100 tonnes from 1 ha of the gully catchment. In the consecutive stages of development of the gully, its edges were dissected, and side branches developed along the lines of surface runoff from fields, concentrated along balks and furrows. As rills dissected the surface, ground road had to be shifted towards the arable fields. Detailed measurements of the gully by means of a total station Nikon were carried out three times in: 2004, 2009 and 2013. The total length of all of the dissections currently reached 430 m, and the gully volume – 4,650 m3.


gully developmentpodlasie bug river gape-polanderosionsandy soilshuman impact