Soil Erosion Essay

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Montana Burnett Spring 2012 The Causes and Effects of Soil Erosion What is Soil Erosion and How can I stop it? Soil erosion is a major cause of environmental destruction all over the world. Although soil erosion is present almost everywhere, very few people know the causes of soil erosion and how to prevent ecosystems from becoming damaged. Soil erosion occurs when the earth’s surface is displaced by precipitation, wind, or other such natural or artificial sources. There are four main categories of soil erosion. The first is called water erosion. One way water erosion occurs is when soil is displaced by the force of rain hitting the ground. Soil can also be eroded by water as rivers and streams pick up sediments and deposit them further downstream. The next category is referred to as wind erosion. As the energy of wind increases and decreases, transportation and setting of top soil, which is a lighter and less compacted soil, occurs. The third category is called gravity erosion. An example of gravity erosion is the occurrence of a mudslide. Usually, soil is moved from higher areas of land to lower areas of land due to the slope of the terrain and the weight of the soil itself. The last category is called frozen-melt erosion. When water drips into the cracks of rocks during cold weather, the water may turn to ice. As water turns to ice, the water will expand causing tremendous pressure on the rock. The pressure of the ice often grows so high that pieces may crack off of the whole rock. Erosion is a natural process; but like many other natural processes, humans end up interfering in several different ways. When humans place too many animals on one piece of land, overgrazing can occur. After animals have eaten all the plant cover in an area, rain will fall directly on the uncovered soil. As the rain falls more rapidly, the soil will wash away faster

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