Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is the gradual wearing of a fertile upper layer of soil by natural forces such as water, wind, and farming activities.

What are the Causes of Soil Erosion?

The main causes of soil erosion are:

Overgrazing

Overgrazing of grasses and vegetation from the land can cause the soil to loosen up, making it more prone to erosion.

Heavy Winds

Heavy winds carry away the minute soil particles during dry weather or in the semi-arid regions. This degrades the soil and results in desertification.

Rainfall and Flooding

The main cause of soil erosion is the higher intensity of rainstorms. The raindrops break the soil particles into smaller particles which are then washed away by the rain, creating potholes, rock-cut basins, etc.

The four types of soil erosion caused by rainfall are:

  1. Rill erosion.
  2. Gully erosion.
  3. Sheet erosion.
  4. Splash erosion.

Agriculture

Agricultural activities such as clearing trees and plowing of land to sow new seeds loosen the soil particles, making it easy to erode due to rain and wind.

What are the Effects of Soil Erosion?

The major effects of soil erosion include.

  1. Loss of arable land.
  2. Clogging of waterways.
  3. Air pollution.
  4. Desertification.
  5. Destruction of infrastructure.

How to Prevent Soil Erosion?

  1. Implementing regenerative agriculture techniques to preserve and restore ecosystems by improving the soil's quality and health.
  2. Planting shrubs and trees in linear patterns to improve crop production, protect the soil, people, and livestock protects the soil erosion.
  3. According to Camera et al. (2018), the sediments accumulating behind the dry-stone walls create suitable land for farming and prevent soil erosion.
  4. Reforestation helps reduce sedimentation rates in downstream valleys, which has a tremendous potential to help fight soil erosion and climate change.
  5. Conservation tillage is a form of tillage that minimizes the number of tillage passes. It can reduce the vertical movements of soil, reducing the exposure to water or wind erosion.
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