Erosion is the process by which material is removed from a region of the Earth surface. It can occur by weathering and transport of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere. It usually occurs due to transport by wind, water, or ice; by down-slope creep of soil and other material under the force of gravity; or by living organisms, such as burrowing animals, in the case of bioerosion.
Although erosion is a natural process human land use policies also have an effect on erosion, especially industrial agriculture, deforestation, and urban sprawl. Land that is used for industrial agriculture generally experiences a significantly greater rate of erosion than that of land under natural vegetation, or land used for sustainable agricultural practices. This is particularly true if tillage is used, which reduces vegetation cover on the surface of the soil and disturbs both soil structure and plant roots that would otherwise hold the soil in place. However, improved land use practices can limit erosion, using techniques such as terrace-building, no-till, and tree planting.
A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example, gravels continuously move downstream in watercourses. Excessive erosion, however, causes serious problems, such as receiving water sedimentation, ecosystem damage and outright loss of soil
SCIENCE 360 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROTECTION OF THE WORLDS TOPSOIL By 1 LM 4233 17 MARCH 1998 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree Management to Dr. Jack UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX Southern California Campus La Mirada Learning Center Protection of the Worlds Topsoil The protection of the worlds topsoil is vital to us. The soil is still the major medium ...
The rate of erosion depends on many factors. Climatic factors include the amount and intensity of precipitation, the average temperature, as well as the typical temperature range, and seasonality, the wind speed, storm frequency. Erosion is caused by “fluid flow”. Any substance, like wind, water, or ice, which flows consistently from one place to another, will facilitate erosion. The geologic factors include the sediment or rock type, its porosity and permeability, the slope (gradient) of the land, and whether the rocks are tilted, faulted, folded, or weathered. The biological factors include ground cover from vegetation or lack thereof, the type of organisms inhabiting the area, and the land use today, the most effective method for erosion prevention is soil surface cover. In this method, some type of permeable material, left over crop residue for example, covers the soil surface, which includes rock and sediment debris. This decreases the deteriorating capabilities of the impact from rain, animals, machinery, or any other type of eroding agent. As a result, surface runoff is controlled which helps eliminate the transportation of eroded particles elsewhere, thus slowing the process of erosion as a whole.