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THE DIARY OF

A POLIT-ECO TOURIST

PREVENTING SOIL EROSION,

THE AMERICAN WAY: PAST & PRESENT

A PHOTO GALLERY

By

Kashyapa A. S. Yapa

The set of photographs below, demonstrate many different techniques, employed in the past, to prevent soil erosion in mountain slopes. I Appreciate it very much, if you would collaborate, by informing us about other types and techniques of erosion prevention. 

CONTENTS:

PART I
check dams - mesaverde 

Simple Terraces - tena/ guamote

Masonry terraces - Pomatta/ Copacabana/ Sun Island/ colca/ moray/

PART II
Masonry terraces, contd -tipon/ yucay/ pisac/ ollantay/ machupicchu/ pastogrande/saraguro

These small check dams, across tiny streams descending down the plateau, of Mesa Verde, CO, USA, not just prevented soil erosion, but also helped augment the infiltration.

Amazon foothills of Ecuador, along the road Baeza-Cosanga, Prov. of Napo, had also been heavily terraced.
These long, but not too tall, terraces, apparently, did not have any masonry walls, except at some steep sections.

Mild slopes of Andean high plains, south of Riobamba, Ecuador, are intensively cultivated, but the campesinos take precautions against soil erosion. 
They placed simple obstacles, like blocks of cangagua (hardened earth), across the wide slopes.  When soil accumulates behind, they would place another row of obstacles, thus raising, gradually, the height of the sediment platform.

The intensively terraced hill slopes around Lake Titicaca, from the air, look like a checkered piece of cloth. (from: Erickson, Clark L., 2000, "The Lake Titicaca basin: A precolumbian built landscape" in Imperfect balance: Landscape transformations in the precolumbian Americas, Ed: Lentz, David L., Columbia University Press, NY, USA, p. 310-356).
Terraced farmland in the peninsula of Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.
 

A close view of the terraces in the Island of the Sun, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.

Typical section of a terraced hillside in Asillo, Lake Titicaca, Peru. (from: Erickson, 2000)
A part of the extensively terraced Colca canyon, at Quinay, near Arequipa, Peru. (from: "Peru, the fascinating empire of the Incas," Fondo de promoción turistica, Peru)

Above:  Aerial view of two amphitheaters at Moray, Cusco, Peru. (from: Shippee-Johnson expedition, 1938)
Left: The amphitheater 'A' at Moray, where the terraces provided stable cultivating platforms, and also, a variety of ecological niches.
Below: A close-up of terraces at the bottom of the amphitheater.
Right: Construction details of the terraces at Moray: water drops, climbing steps and masonry.

Below: The other two amphitheaters at Moray, now in decay.

PART II

If you would like to begin a discussion, please, write to me

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