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Soil Erosion

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Soil Erosion


Soil quality is one of the most basic and perhaps least understood indicators of land health. Soil supports plant growth and represents the living reservoir that buffers the flows of water, nutrients, and energy through an ecosystem. The ongoing degradation of the earth’s soils by human activity such as urbanization, deforestation, overgrazing of cattle, and poor agricultural practices has brought about irreversible consequences that may lead to desertification of an area.
Erosion is the wearing away of material on the surface of the land by wind, water, or gravity. In nature, erosion occurs very slowly, as natural weathering and geologic processes remove rock, parent material, or soil from the land surface. Human activity, on the other hand, greatly increases the rate of soil erosion.
Water plays an important role in soil erosion. When an area receives more water (in the form of rain, melting snow, or ice) than the ground can absorb, the excess water flows to the lowest level, carrying loose material with it. Gentle slopes are subject to sheet and rill erosion, in which the runoff removes a thin layer of top soil.
Glaciers are important agents of

 

 

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