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Mar 14, · Generally, soil erosion is the relocation of the topsoil layer from its original location. It leaves the affected area exposed to more sporadic erosion making it a sequential occurrence. Below are some of the main causes of soil erosion. 1. Water runoff and rainfall intensity. It is this layer of soil that is endangered by wind and water erosion. Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields. It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding. Once soil erosion occurs, it is more likely to happen again. This is a global problem.
The agents of soil erosion are the same as the agents of what is a closer lawyer types of erosion: water, wind, ice, or gravity. Running water is the leading cause of soil erosion, because water is abundant and has a lot of power. Wind is also a leading cause of soil erosion because wind can pick up soil and blow it far away. Activities that remove vegetation, what is the main cause of soil erosion the ground, or allow the ground to dry are activities that increase erosion.
What are some human activities that increase the likelihood that soil will be eroded? Agriculture is probably the most significant activity that accelerates soil erosion because of the amount of what is the main cause of soil erosion that is farmed and how much farming practices disturb the ground Figure 1.
Farmers remove native vegetation and then plow the land to plant new seeds. Because most crops grow only in spring and summer, the land lies fallow during the winter. Of course, winter is also the stormy season in many locations, so wind and rain are available to wash soil away. Tractor tires make deep grooves, which are natural pathways for water.
Fine soil is what is the main cause of soil erosion away by wind. The soil that is most likely to erode is the nutrient-rich topsoil, which degrades the farmland. Figure 1. Grazing animals Figure 2 wander over large areas of pasture or natural grasslands eating grasses and shrubs.
Grazers expose soil by removing the plant cover for an area. They also churn up the ground with their hooves. A land is overgrazed if too many animals are living there.
Grazing animals can cause erosion if they are allowed to overgraze and remove too much or all of the vegetation in a pasture. Logging removes trees that protect the ground from soil erosion.
The tree roots hold the soil together and the tree canopy protects the soil from hard falling rain. Logging results in the loss of leaf litteror dead leaves, bark, and branches on the forest floor. Leaf litter plays an important role in protecting forest soils from erosion Figure 3. Many of the tropical forests that remain are currently the site of logging because North America and Europe have already harvested many of their trees Figure 4. Soils eroded from logged forests clog rivers and lakes, fill estuaries, and bury coral reefs.
Figure 4. Deforested swatches in Brazil show up as gray amid the bright red tropical rainforest. Surface mining disturbs the land Figure 5 and leaves the soil vulnerable to erosion. Figure 5. Some of the exposed ground is being reclaimed by planting trees. Constructing buildings and how to dismantle your xbox 360 churns up the ground and exposes soil to erosion. In some locations, native landscapes, such as forest and grassland, are cleared, exposing the surface to erosion in some locations the land that will be built on is farmland.
Near construction sites, dirt, picked up by the wind, is often in the air. Completed construction can also contribute to erosion Figure 6. Figure 6. Urban areas and parking lots result in less water entering the ground.
Water runs off the parking lot onto nearby lands and speeds up erosion in those areas. Recreational activities may accelerate soil erosion. Off-road vehicles disturb the landscape and the area eventually develops bare spots where no plants can grow.
Figure 7. Soil erosion is as natural as any learn how to techno dance type of erosion, but human activities have greatly accelerated soil erosion. In some locations soil erosion may occur about 10 times faster than its how to make signature in outlook 2003 rate.
Since Europeans settled in North America, about one-third of the topsoil in the area that is now the United States has eroded away. Improve this page Learn More. Skip to main content. Module 4: Weathering and Soil Formation. Search for:. Reading: Causes of Soil Erosion The agents of soil erosion are the same as the agents of all types of erosion: water, wind, ice, or gravity.
Farming Agriculture is probably the most significant activity that accelerates soil erosion because of the amount of land that is farmed and how much farming practices disturb the ground Figure 1.
Figure 3. Logging exposes large areas of land to erosion. Did you have an idea for improving this content? Licenses and Attributions. CC licensed content, Shared previously.
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Farming, grazing, mining, construction and recreational activities are some of the causes of soil erosion. The effects of soil erosion are not just land degradation. It has led to a drastic increase in pollution and sedimentation in rivers that clogs the water bodies resulting in a decline in the population of aquatic organisms. Aug 24, · Let’s have a look at the most common causes of soil erosion. Natural causes of soil erosion #1 Water runoff and rainfall. Water is one of the strongest erosive agents that has a great potential to disturb the soil surface. Depending on the duration and intensity of a rainfall, soils can exhibit signs of one of the four forms of the damage, including.
This is particularly true for places with the highest risk of erosion , such as watersheds in Indonesia, India, the Philippines and more. In these areas, protecting against soil erosion through sustainable land management can solve a multitude of problems. Soil is a natural resource that may look robust and endless, but is in fact the fragile product of thousands of years of formation. Topsoil, which lies closest to the surface of the land, contains essential nutrients for crops.
It is this layer of soil that is endangered by wind and water erosion. Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields. It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding.
Once soil erosion occurs, it is more likely to happen again. This is a global problem. Soil is eroding more quickly than it is being formed, causing land to become unsuitable for agriculture — a particularly serious concern in a world where the population is expected to top 9 billion by midcentury.
Smarter land management is a necessity. Erosion degrades land, which means it can support fewer plants that can take in climate-warming carbon dioxide. Better land management can help keep soils intact so they can grow more carbon-sucking vegetation. This is already happening in China, where the Grain-for-Green project in the Yellow River basin conserved soil and water and reduced carbon emissions.
On the flip side, unchecked climate change can worsen erosion. The risk of erosion will become even higher in the future due to emissions-driven temperature changes, with resulting decreases in agricultural production, land value and human health. Similar erosion-related floods have occurred in many other countries, such as Colombia , India , the Philippines and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Soil erosion is not only an environmental issue; it also causes huge losses to the economy. The U. This value includes lost productivity, along with sedimentation and water pollution. Terraced farming needs to be implemented to make hillside agriculture manageable. Terraces prevent erosion and allow more water to flow to crops. In addition, hillside farm fields need full crop cover to help keep the soil in place.
This can be accomplished by intercropping, which means growing two crops together in the same field, such as planting rows of maize or soybean between rows of oil palm trees.
For smallholders, agroforestry systems where a diverse set of crops, including trees, are grown together can be effective. Access to manure improves the organic matter of the soil, which inhibits erosion. Finally, alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted crops improves soil structure and reduces erosion at the same time. Although the science of sustainable land management has been gaining support, the socio-economic context often makes implementation difficult.
Sustainable land practices need to be financially viable for farmers. Governments and banks must help farmers get access to credit and support in implementing erosion prevention. This is not only a good deal for the farmer, but for the whole community.
The key to managing and reducing soil erosion is to rehabilitate already-damaged land , stop further degradation and put erosion-preventative measures at the core of land management policy. In this way, we can help prevent hunger and mitigate the climate crisis. To learn more about WRI's work restoring eroded soils, click here. Get our latest commentary, upcoming events, publications, maps, and data.
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Business Economics Finance Governance. Add Comment. What Are the Impacts of Soil Erosion? Use Soil-friendly Agricultural Practices Terraced farming needs to be implemented to make hillside agriculture manageable. Offer Incentives for Land Management Although the science of sustainable land management has been gaining support, the socio-economic context often makes implementation difficult.
Prevention AND Rehabilitation The key to managing and reducing soil erosion is to rehabilitate already-damaged land , stop further degradation and put erosion-preventative measures at the core of land management policy. Tags: land use , degraded land , agriculture , food security , indonesia , restoration. Sign Up Leave this field blank. Donate to WRI Donate. Get Involved For corporations For individuals.
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