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Soil Erosion 2

  • Date Submitted: 08/19/2011 04:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33.1 
  • Words: 417
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Erosion is the process by which material is removed from a region of the Earth surface. It can occur by weathering and transport of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere. It usually occurs due to transport by wind, water, or ice; by down-slope creep of soil and other material under the force of gravity; or by living organisms, such as burrowing animals, in the case of bioerosion.
Although erosion is a natural process human land use policies also have an effect on erosion, especially industrial agriculture, deforestation, and urban sprawl. Land that is used for industrial agriculture generally experiences a significantly greater rate of erosion than that of land under natural vegetation, or land used for sustainable agricultural practices. This is particularly true if tillage is used, which reduces vegetation cover on the surface of the soil and disturbs both soil structure and plant roots that would otherwise hold the soil in place. However, improved land use practices can limit erosion, using techniques such as terrace-building, no-till, and tree planting.
A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example, gravels continuously move downstream in watercourses. Excessive erosion, however, causes serious problems, such as receiving water sedimentation, ecosystem damage and outright loss of soil
The rate of erosion depends on many factors. Climatic factors include the amount and intensity of precipitation, the average temperature, as well as the typical temperature range, and seasonality, the wind speed, storm frequency. Erosion is caused by “fluid flow”. Any substance, like wind, water, or ice, which flows consistently from one place to another, will facilitate erosion. The geologic factors include the sediment or rock type, its porosity and permeability, the slope (gradient) of the land, and whether the rocks are tilted,...

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