Description of practice

Half-moon terraces are stone or earth embankments built in the shape of a semicircle with the tips of the bund on the contour. They can be used for individual shrubs or trees or arranged in staggered rows, so that overflow from one row runs downslope into the next. Their purpose is to collect and concentrate surface water runoff to increase water availability for plant growth.

Examples of how to use half-moon terraces Further information
(see Note below)

AMP05 01

Semi-circular earth bunds

Semi-circular earth bunds are used to rehabilitate degraded, denuded and hardened land for crop growing, grazing or forestry.


»WOCAT technology 1614

AMP05 02

Half-moon terraces for trees

Half-moon shaped basins are dug in the soil to collect water and enhance moisture availability. Smaller, closely spaced half-moons are better for growing trees and shrubs.


»Greener LAND


AMP05 03

Mini half-moon stone terraces

Mini terraces with a stone wall at the edge, spaced in a staggered pattern are used for planting fruit trees. The aim is to conserve water and increase fertilizer efficiency by reducing runoff losses.


»WOCAT technology 1565

AMP05 04

Photo: Luuk Fleskens

Large semi-circular stone bunds

Semi-circular stone bunds are constructed by excavating a foundation and building a stone embankment that tapers in height towards the tips in order to enable the removal of excess runoff. Within the semicircle 1-3 tree planting pits can be excavated.


»WOCAT technology 1565

AMP05 05

Photo: Luuk Fleskens

La Geria half-moons for vines

At La Geria, vines are planted in cone-shaped pits that are protected against the prevalent wind by half-moon stone bunds. Vines are rooted into fertile soil that is covered with a layer of mineral-rich volcanic ash.


»The Water Channel

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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