Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

Activity Discussion Environment What is the main cause of soil erosion? Reply To: What is the main cause of soil erosion?

  • Mahima

    May 17, 2021 at 3:06 pm
    Not Helpful

    It is a natural process in which the topmost layer of the soil gets carried away due to wind, rainwater, or flood. The soil erosion process occurs slowly that is not so much visible in the starting and comes to the notice when the land had been degraded in an alarming situation.

    Due to soil erosion sinkholes can also be caused. Erosion entails three distinct actions: soil detachment, displacement, and deposition, whether caused by water, wind, or tillage. Topsoil, which is rich in organic matter, fertility, and soil life, is either moved “on-site” to build up over time or transported “off-site” to fill in drainage channels.


    a. Sheet Erosion: It mainly occurs in hilly areas in which the top sheet of soil is removed due to the water and this kind of erosion is not that much visible.

    b. Wind Erosion: strong winds blowing over light-textured soils that have been heavily grazed during drought times are more likely to cause it.

    c. Rill Erosion: Heavy rains cause rill erosion, which produces small rills over hillsides, making farming difficult.

    d. Gully Erosion: In this water runs off with such a force that it can easily move the soil particles to the side and making a gully type pattern. It is highly visible.


    1.Deforestation: A rising population’s demand for commodities such as coffee, soybeans, palm oil, and wheat is clearing land for agriculture. Unfortunately, removing native trees and replacing them with new tree crops that don’t always hold on to the soil increases the risk of soil erosion.

    2.Overgrazing: Intensive cattle raising causes overgrazing. Since plants do not have the time to regenerate, they are crushed and compacted by cattle. Topsoil sediments are transferred elsewhere during this phase. The residual soil, on the other hand, may lose its infiltration potential, resulting in more water loss from the environment and a more difficult time for new plants to develop.

    3. Use of Agrochemicals: Framers use pesticides and fertilizers on their land very often to improve their agricultural production. The excessive use of these chemicals causes the imbalance of microorganisms Which results in the growth of harmful bacteria in the soil, due to this soil gets degraded and the risk of soil erosion increases.

    4. Construction- Buildings and roads play a part in soil erosion because they prevent water from flowing freely. Instead, it floods adjacent fields, causing deforestation in these areas to accelerate. Furthermore, motorized sports like motocross can disrupt habitats as well as alter and erode the soil.


    a. Till carefully- Since tilling disturbs the soil’s composition, doing less tilling and fewer passes preserves more of the valuable topsoil.

    b. WaterControl: The places where erosion occurs due to water, their new water system should be placed that is placing pipes, shafts will help in diverting water streams away from vulnerable areas, reducing erosion.

    c. Soil conservation: It is a technique in which new farming techniques are adapted to avoid soil degradation or erosion. Some of the methods like terrace farming, crop rotation, contour plowing should be practiced.

    e. Educate farmers: Knowledge shall be provided to the farmers regarding the ways to prevent soil erosion so that they can apply the methods to their daily agricultural practices.

    f. Crop Rotation: This practice helps in making the soil rich. Only one kind of crop should not be grown on the land, it should be replaced with another crop as well.

    g. Increased structure for plants: Using terraces or other methods to stabilize plant life or even the soil surrounding them may help to minimize the likelihood of soil loosening and eroding.

For Worksheets & PrintablesJoin Now