Keeping It In Kin Kin
Kin Kin is one of the emerald jewels of the Noosa Hinterland, with rolling green hills, fantastic community spirit and incredibly fertile soil. It is also soil that is on the move due partly to its ancient geological origins and partly because it was once covered in the majestic Kin Kin scrub.- dense thick vine forests and colossal deep rooted Red cedars, Toona ciliata, giant Kauri pines, Agathus robusta and incredible Hoop pine, Araucaria cuninghamii.
These giants of the forest formulated most of Brisbane including the internal steps of Parliament house to make way for pineapples, bananas and beans, followed by dairy farming and now predominantly beef. These actions all take a toll on soil structure and consequently the catchment area has experienced significant levels of erosion. Recently it has been identified that this fine sediment covering the benthic layer (floor) and disrupting the natural ecosystem processes of Lake Cootharaba once originated from the slopes of Kin Kin. Noosa & District Landcare have partnered with Noosa Biosphere, Noosa Council, Country Noosa, Thomas Foundation, plus a number of other supporting bodies to address these issues through the Keeping It In Kin Kin Project.
A step back in time: a short description of Kin Kin geology
The Catchment has two major distinct landscapes separated by the Wahpunga Range that runs north south through the centre. East of the range is dominated by extensive floodplains feeding into Lake Cootharaba. To the west of the range is steep headwater areas and alluvial valleys once vegetated in expansive Lowland Rainforest of Subtropical Australia, listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The basalt plain and hill landscapes of the Kin Kin catchment can contain one or more unconfined aquifers where groundwater is stored and transmitted through intergranular pore space, fractures, vesicles and/or weathered zone of the rock. When basalt plains and hills overlie lower permeability rock, vertical groundwater movement is restricted at the interface or contact. While groundwater will often continue to leak through the lower permeability rock to some degree (through fractures), typically, groundwater will move laterally and is commonly discharged to the surface along the contact between the two rocks.
The heavy underlying clays of the Kin Kin beds, a moderately hard, fine grained Phyllite mudstone with finely spaced layering dominate geology in the upper catchment. A central north-south band of sedimentary Myrtle Creek Sandstones and quaternary alluvial occupies the river valley and expansive lower catchment floodplains.
LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of pulsed laser to measure variable distances to the Earth, detecting information about the shape of the Earth surface. With the help of Healthy Land & Water, analysis of the calculated differences in the Kin Kin region’s terrain between images of 2008 to those taken in 2015, ‘hotspots’ could be detected as to where soil had been eroded and subsequently deposited during that time frame. Examples of LIDAR imagery and subsequent analysis can be seen below.
Example of LiDaR imagery
Example of mapping created
Sub catchments and erosion hotspots
From the LiDAR assessment we were able to identify the different erosion processes occurring in the catchment and the appropriate remediation activities and land management tools to address these erosion types.
Keeping soil in Kin kIn is all about groundcover, slowing down surface run-off and looking after our waterways.
Most common type of erosion in Kin Kin
- Mass Movement
Some ways to manage and improve water quality will include
- Exclusion fencing
- Off source water points (livestock drinking troughs)
- Waterway revegetation
- Increase soil micro and macrobiotic diversity
To find out more regarding ‘saving soil’ click here.
Erosion mitigation measures would include
- Grazing and pasture management advice
- Erosion repair through leaky weirs, minor infrastructure such as coir logs or straw bales
- Remediation of dirt tracks on property.
- Cluster revegetation offering shade and habitat
Click here to access the Reef Trust Toolbox.
Pasture management issues that could occur
- Soil improvement
- Diversity of pasture species
- Cell or rotation grazing
- Pasture Dieback
For more information on what you can do click here or download the PDF fact sheet Meat & Livestock Australia
Targeted weed control
> Cats Claw Creeper Dolichandra unguis-cati
> Giant Rats Tail grass Sporobolus pyramidalis and Sporobolus natalensis
American rat’s tail grass (Sporobolus jacquemontii)
Giant Parramatta grass (Sporobolus fertilis).
PDF Fact sheets
> Giant rats tail grass
> Managing giant rats tail grass/
> Land for Wildlife
> Healthy Land and Water