MemberJune 23, 2023 at 5:50 pm::
Soil erosion is a form of soil degradation. It is a natural process in which the top soil of a field is carried away by physical sources such as wind and water. It is a gradual process that occurs when the impact of wind and water removes soil particles, causing the soil to deteriote. <div>
#CAUSES OF SOIL EROSION
Soil erosion occurs primarily when dirt is left exposed to strong winds, harsh rains and flowing water. In some cases human activities especially farming and land clearing leaves soil vulnerable to erosion .
1. The overgrazing of farm animals like cattle and sheep can also leave a large area of land devoid of ground covering plants that would otherwise hold the soil in place .
2. Another major practice is deforestation that is cutting of trees on large scale for industrial use , when tress are cleared away, the land is left exposed to wind and rain without security of roots to prevent from being swept away .
3. Climate is also a major driver of erosion. Changes in rainfall and water levels can shift soil, extreme fluctuations in temperature can make topsoil more vulnerable to erosion, and prolonged droughts can prevent plants from growing, leaving soil further exposed.
#TYPES OF EROSION
1. WATER EROSION
Water erosion occurs when rain or snowmelt displaces the soil on the ground. The more water flowing over the land, the more soil particles are moved or transported away. Land that has no vegetation—including farm fields that are left barren after crop harvest—are especially vulnerable to water erosion. Since there’s no vegetation to absorb the water, hold dirt in place, or break up the energy of falling raindrops, a rainstorm leads to increased runoff and erosion. Intense weather events (heavy rains, flash floods, and rapid snowmelt) can lead to more rapid soil erosion.
#FORMS OF WATER EROSION
A. Sheet erosion—
the removal of soil in thin, uniform layers (sheets) by raindrop impact and shallow surface water flow. Sheet erosion can sometimes be difficult to detect unless the soil is deposited nearby or if the damage is already severe. This erosion process removes the fine soil particles that contain most of the important nutrients and organic matter.
B. Rill erosion—
a type of erosion that results in small yet well-defined channels—typically smaller than gully erosion channels. After some time, rill erosion may fade away or, in more serious cases, be smoothed over with tilling.
C. Gully erosion—
the washing away of soil through deep grooves or channels across unprotected land. Gully erosion can refer to soil being washed away through human-made drainage lines or describe the process of soil traveling through grooves created by hard rains.
D. Bank erosion—
the progressive undercutting, scouring, and slumping of natural rivers and streams as well as man-made drainage channels by the intense movement of water. When land managers remove vegetation or ranchers allow their livestock to overgraze the land near streams and riverbanks, it can exacerbate the problem. Bank erosion represents a serious threat to lands around the globe.
2. WIND EROSION
Wind erosion is a natural process that moves loose soil from one location to another. Very strong winds, in fact, can form large, destructive dust storms. Like water erosion, wind erosion can harm the fields where it picks up soil, as well as the areas where the dirt—and whatever minerals and contaminants it includes—are deposited. It can also have health impacts: worsening air quality, obscuring visibility, and causing people to experience breathing difficulties .
In addition, soil erosion can drive climate change. Soil is a vast storage center for carbon dioxide, organic matter, and microbes. But when soil becomes degraded—as through deforestation and poor farming practices—it can release carbon back into the atmosphere. The loss of healthy soil—by wind and water erosion, poor management, wildfire, or other means—represents the loss of one major tool we have to fight climate change.