The outward and downward movements of sediments and rocks on slanting or slope surfaces due to gravitational pull qualify as an important aspect of the erosion process. Running water is one of the main cause of soil erosion. Due to Soil Texture. When vegetation is planted in the ground, the topsoil is shifted, which causes erosion. What is a Habitat and Reasons For Habitat Loss and Destruction? Without plant cover, erosion can occur and sweep the land into rivers. Soil erosion is the geological process wherein soil particles are detached and transported by various agents of erosion, namely water, wind, glaciers, and gravity. If soils get saturated with water after prolonged periods of intensive rain, their capacity to absorb water decreases. Causes of Soil Erosion: Various agents, like wind, water, deforestation, overgrazing by cattle, and etc., cause soil erosion. Sheet erosion affects a whole area, when water or the wind act like a broom to clear out the topsoil. Factors like heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, and even mass movements are part and parcel of the cyclical nature of soil. Bank erosion happens when bodies of water sap away the topsoil near its shores. Surface mining disturbs the land (Figure 5) and leaves the soil vulnerable to erosion. Soil erosion is a natural process which has increasingly been exacerbated by human activities such as agriculture and deforestation. Soil erosion is a continuous process that occurs either slowly or at an alarming rate. This means most of the environmental problems the world face today arises from soil erosion. As mentioned, the predominant causes of soil erosion are either related to naturally-occurring events or influenced by the presence of human activity. Deforested swatches in Brazil show up as gray amid the bright red tropical rainforest. Running water is the leading cause of soil erosion, because water is abundant and has a lot of power. Even deforestation or reduced vegetation caused by things like forest fires are sometimes unavoidable. Erosion by Water Water is the main cause of erosion on Earth. Depending on the type of force, erosion can happen quickly or take thousands of years. Soils eroded from logged forests clog rivers and lakes, fill estuaries, and bury coral reefs. The causes of soil erosion are directly related to improper landuse, and are, therefore, entirely man-made. Plant roots firmly hold the soil particles together. The process involves the loosening of the soil particles, blowing or washing away of the soil particles, and either ends up in the valley and faraway lands or washed away to the oceans by rivers and streams. Soil erosion from surface water runoff often causes serious damage to roads and tracks, especially if stabilizing techniques are not used. Soil erosion is more likely where the ground has been disturbed by agriculture, grazing animals, logging, mining, construction, and recreational activities. A land is overgrazed if too many animals are living there. Figure 3. Uneven distribution of rainfall. Let us have a detailed look at the causes, effects and prevention of soil erosion. It results in the progressive down-slope movement of soil, causing severe soil loss on upper-slope positions and accumulation in lower-slope positions. Soil erosion is incredibly problematic, but it is also preventable and reducible when you take the right steps. Urban areas and parking lots result in less water entering the ground. Also, the silt up can support plant life that can, in turn, cause cracks and weaken the structures. Why are National Parks Important and How Do They Help the Environment? While the slash and burn technique of deforestation introduces significant volumes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere it has become popular due to its speed and cost-effectiveness at clearing an area. (b) Hiking trails may become eroded. Soil structure and composition is another factor that determines erosivity of wind or rainfall. It gradually transforms a habitable land and the ASAL regions into deserts. The consequences of soil erosion are primarily centered on reduced agricultural productivity as well as soil quality. Soil erosion is … Also, exposed subsoil is highly erodible to the forces of water and wind. Farming activities such as tillage also significantly contribute to soil erosion. The outcomes of soil erosion are reduced agricultural productivity, ecological collapse, soil degradation, and the possibility of desertification. Of course, winter is also the stormy season in many locations, so wind and rain are available to wash soil away. (a) The bare areas of farmland are especially vulnerable to erosion. In some arid and semiarid areas, wind can be the cause of soil erosion too. Causes of Soil Erosion Various agents, like wind, water, deforestation, overgrazing by cattle, etc., cause soil erosion. Earth Eclipse. Some soil erosion causes are mentioned below. It is likely that most of the cultivated areas around the globe are vulnerable to soil erosion. Distribution of rainfall and landscape: If the ground surface is such that rainfall distributes evenly, … Soils eroded from agricultural lands carry pesticides, heavy metals, and fertilizers which are washed into streams and major water ways. Did you have an idea for improving this content? The agents of soil erosion are the same as the agents of all types of erosion: water, wind, ice, or gravity. These types of erosions are caused by the impacts of raindrops on the soil surface that break down and disperse the soil particles, which are then washed away by the stormwater runoff. Trees and their roots provide the soil with an anchor, as well as shelter from the wind and rain. What causes soil erosion? In the absence of plants, Soil can be carried away easily by a strong wind and water. Erosion, physical process in which soil, rock, and other surface material are removed from one location and transported to another. Soil erosion decreases soil fertility, which can negatively affect crop yields. Thus, soil erosion is a continuous process and may occur either at a relatively unnoticed rate or an alarming rate contributing to copious loss of the topsoil. Much of the worldâs original forests have been logged. Recreational activities may accelerate soil erosion. 2. It is severe during the times of drought in the ASAL regions. (Albinism), Can Squirrels Eat Almonds? This reduces soil quality and agricultural productivity. Deforestationis a major cause of soil erosion, perhaps the main cause. Although soil erosion is a natural process, human activities have greatly accelerated it. It happens in the place where soil is not covered by plants. Put simply, the causes of soil erosion are somewhat inevitable. In this view, soil erosion has severely threatened the productivity of fertile cropping areas as they are continually degraded. As a result, the lack of land cover causes increased rates of soil erosion. 1. In the absence of trees, it can lead to heavy erosion of topsoil. Soil erosion refers to the process whereby the top layer of soil is removed. (b) This coal mine in West Virginia covers more than 10,000 acres (15.6 square miles). (b) Slash-and-burn agriculture leaves land open for soil erosion and is one of the leading causes of soil erosion in the world. Logging results in the loss of leaf litter, or dead leaves, bark, and branches on the forest floor. While there are many different factors that can cause soil erosion, most can be broken down into two main categories: Wind erosion picks up dust particles of the soil and throws them into the air, causing air pollution. How Does Photosynthesis Take Place in Desert Plants? Up and down field tillage practices as well create pathways for surface water runoff and can speed up the soil erosion process. What is Soil Conservation and What are Various Ways To Conserve Soil? The effects of soil erosion include: Lands used for crop production have been substantially affected by soil erosion. Rainstorm produces four major types of soil erosion including rill erosion, gully erosion, sheet erosion, and splash erosion. The tree roots hold the soil contains more of small grains and of open structure faster. 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