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Ridge patterns

 
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So far I understand that there are three areas to consider when plowing. One is the valley, plowing on contour and slowly drifting off contour. Then you hit the ridge wall. From there you set a new set of guides to start plowing on the ridge. It looks.like the plowing goes off contour drifting up slope. Is this correct? Could you explain?
Thanks
 
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Location: Eppalock, Victoria, Australia
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G'day,

Put simply the geometry of landscapes have it that in general that"

1. In valleys you should plow parallel below a contour
2. On ridges you should plow parallel above a contour
3. Where you are plowing from valley to ridge or vice versa and you want to do it optimally then you should A. mark the keypoint and then the keyline of the valley (its full and correct term) B. on the adjacent ridges mark the lowest point on the ridge and then the contours of these till you hit the valley C. Mark a parallel offset up the ridge (s) until you hit the end point (s) of the keyline of the valley D. Plow parallel to this continuous line both above and below and all is good in the world!

Hope that this helps...We'll be doing this graphically in next weeks eHD session...

All the best,

Darren
 
Cliff Davis
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Thanks Darren. I will be taking the eHD next week. The graphics will help.
 
Heenan Doherty
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Thanks Cliff, graphics do help, there is no doubt about that and especially when they are live on on real places not contour maps that are never seen or found. All the best,

Darren
 
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Cliff Davis wrote:It looks.like the plowing goes off contour drifting up slope. Is this correct? Could you explain?
Thanks



That is exactly what I also could understand after trying hard to understand!
Making water go "up" instead of accumulating all at the key-point.

And I understand the key point (the lace going from convex to concave" as the place where it makes such a cup so that the water accumulates.
And you do not want this, as you prefer to spread the water equally to every place.

Am I at least right in my understanding and rough summary?
And I am so sorry Darren that I cannot understand at all any of your points.
.... Though I have done orienteering with maps before!
It would really help to get the basics with more ordinary words.

As an example:
I guess contours are these lines that are meant to represent altitude in maps. They are parallels.
So if you plow parallel to these lines, below or above is still parallel and results the same for me!
I can understand better if you cross contours (so go up or down according what is desired)

And so I understand even less when you plow "both above and below"...
 
Heenan Doherty
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G'day, Again this is why we are doing eHD as these are not easy concepts to explain to folks with various levels of map literacy and even then it takes a bit of getting your head around it. Interactive graphics are THE way to explain this clearly, believe me! Apologies if this appears to be a lazy attempt at recruitment for eHD attendance however having tried to explain this to 1000's over the years it does take a lot of progressive and interactive graphics to get the light bulb on to the point where you understand it so well that when you explain it to others you are accurate and they are too when they do! that to me is the true test of the understanding of something and unfortunately from the top down in Permaculture (and other methodologies) this has not been the case to the point where Keyline is misrepresented, misunderstood and quite simply completely botched...

I will make a few points however:

1. Keyline patterns DO NOT SEND WATER UP HILL/SLOPE.
2. There is a gradient of fall towards the centreline of primary ridges away from the centreline of the adjacent primary valley.
3. This gradient is formed by the use of cultivators that follow the keyline patterns described. Think of a cultivated line like a channel. If the channel is level water stays level, just like in a bath. If the channel has a gradient then the water, with gravity, will fall in the direction of that gradient.
4. The keypoint is the position in either a main ridge saddle or primary valley flattens out as a general form. It can be very subtle in humid landscapes or very abrupt in more brittle landscapes typically. The keyline is the contour of the keypoint within this primary valley and does not extend onto the primary ridge form. This is absolutely critical to your understanding of keyline patterning. The keyline of saddles is similar and doesn't extend to the adjacent main ridge crest forms.
5. No two contours are parallel. Again this is critical to understand and this is one of the key reasons why keyline patterns work in the way they do, and universally as the orders of patterns of topography are universal.
6. Take a look at valley contours: as you go below the contours that indicate the slope is steepening then you will see that as they head towards the creek (the next order of drainage) that they gradually flatten. If one was to plow parallel to the higher altitude contour then each of these plow runs will take on the shape of this contour you've decided to follow. Generally this will result in you having these plow lines 'cross' any of these lower contours such that the apex of this plow line has a higher elevation than its end (at the ridge) and accordingly any water collected in these plow lines will be directed away from the centre line of the valley towards the adjacent ridges. (see https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxf-Mzo0q-ZbaV9WYkx0Mk1UcVE/edit?usp=sharing)
7. Also take a look at the Farminar presentation I did for the 'Practical Farmers of Iowa' :https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0Bxf-Mzo0q-Zbc052YWNqLVh1LUk/edit?usp=sharing I think the recording of this is in their Farminar archive and may be another way of getting another perspective....

Thanks and all the best,

Darren
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Thanks for those details Darren! I understand the eHD as useful, but it is necessary to make it understand by a book too...
(as the project in another topic)

Heenan Doherty wrote:
1. Keyline patterns DO NOT SEND WATER UP HILL/SLOPE.
2. There is a gradient of fall towards the centreline of primary ridges away from the centreline of the adjacent primary valley.
3. This gradient is formed by the use of cultivators that follow the keyline patterns described. Think of a cultivated line like a channel. If the channel is level water stays level, just like in a bath. If the channel has a gradient then the water, with gravity, will fall in the direction of that gradient.



I had understood this, that it is not possible for water to go up!
The channels slightly go downhill, as the gradient directs the water.
But if this gradient makes the water go from the valley to the ridge, then the water SEEMINGLY go "up"
That's it?
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Heenan Doherty wrote:4. The keypoint is the position in either a main ridge saddle or primary valley flattens out as a general form. It can be very subtle in humid landscapes or very abrupt in more brittle landscapes typically. The keyline is the contour of the keypoint within this primary valley and does not extend onto the primary ridge form. This is absolutely critical to your understanding of keyline patterning. The keyline of saddles is similar and doesn't extend to the adjacent main ridge crest forms.
5. No two contours are parallel. Again this is critical to understand and this is one of the key reasons why keyline patterns work in the way they do, and universally as the orders of patterns of topography are universal.



Indeed, 2 contours would be the same only in an artificial well made concrete slope, not in nature.
When 2 contours are close, the gradient is steeper than when contours are further one to the next.
A map shows a flatter place where contours are more separated.

-> Is it a way to look for keypoints on a map? (the light couloured parts, because is less black contours...)

Keypoint seems to me as used in the singular...
But I cannot understand that there are not MANY key pointSSS in a place!

-> Are there indeed several keypoints to be found and looked for in a place?
 
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