The Dust Bowl

1234 Words5 Pages
Wind is an important element responsible for erosion and deposition in all types of climates so long as sediment particles are loose and dry. When we think of strong winds it is not uncommon to associate them with other storms that usually carry some sort of precipitation with them. In these cases, such as rainstorms and hurricanes, it is more difficult for sediment to blow away due to the weight added from becoming wet. In dry climates, on the other hand, wind is an effective erosional agent. Since air is less dense than water wind can only remove fine sediment such as silt, sand, and clay, but unlike running water, wind is not confined to channels. It can have a widespread effect over vast areas, and the faster the wind blows, the more sediment it can move. Wind action in dry climates can result in thick, choking dust storms. Air pressure differences cause wind as air warms and cools and changes density. The extreme temperature fluctuations that can occur in dry climates causes winds to become stronger. The “Dust Bowl” of the 1930’s is an example of what can result from these severe weather conditions. Drought was not anything unheard of in the history of America, and in the 1930’s it would plague the Plains and Southwest for nearly a decade. It began in the eastern part of the country in 1930 and moved its way west. At the time, farmers had given little thought to crop rotation or other methods to preserve fertile topsoil. Overcultivation had also contributed to the upcoming problem. Once the rain stopped, the exposed, poor-quality soil eventually dried out. Due to years of droughts and poor soil-conservation practices, loose sediment are easily picked up from barren dry soil. Topsoil were blown off fields and carried in storm clouds for hundreds of miles. Wind erosion increases if soil is disturbed by animals and/or vehicles. Because sediment
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