16. Topography & Aspect

16. Topography & Aspect

Can you see how the land slopes here?

Topography refers to the surface features or lay of the land. Gravity will pull soil particles and water downhill so soil depth and water availability tend to be greater at the bottom of a slope compared to the top. This can affect which plants will grow where in a wood with variable topography.

Aspect is the compass direction a slope faces when you are standing on it looking downhill.

Aspect influences the intensity of sunlight reaching the ground, which in turn can affect soil moisture levels. Slopes that face north and east tend to be darker, cooler and moister than slopes facing south and west.

Can you figure out which direction the slope here faces?