Wind, water, ice and waves carry off soil particles and cause soil erosion. Although this is a natural process, human activities that disturb the surface of the earth increase the rate of soil erosion. Activities such as mining, construction, deforestation and intensive agriculture leave the topsoil exposed and vulnerable to the agents of erosion.Continue Reading
When wind, water, ice and waves encounter bare topsoil, soil erosion occurs. Rainfall and rainfall runoff cause splash, sheet, rill and gully erosion. Streams and rivers cause valley or stream erosion and bank erosion. The action of waves and currents causes shoreline erosion along sheltered and exposed coasts.
Glaciers freeze to their beds and move frozen sediment with them as they surge forward in a process called ice thrusting. When water freezes in rock cracks in cold weather, the cracks freeze and expand, shattering the rock. On steep slopes, this leads to gravity erosion.
When wind collects soil particles and carries them away, one of three types of deflation occurs. Surface creep refers to large particles rolling along the surface, saltation refers to particles lifting into the air, and bouncing and suspension refer to the wind lifting small particles into the air and transporting them over long distances.Learn more about Soil
Residual soil is the accumulation of soil caused by the erosion of underlying bedrock, while transported soil is soil deposited into new regions after erosion. Both types of soil are formed from the chemical and mechanical weathering of rock materials.Full Answer >
Soil colloids are extremely small particles of soil with particle sizes of 2 micrometers in diameter or smaller suspended in a soil with larger particles. Soil colloids are typically found in clay or humus soils.Full Answer >
According to Colorado State University Extension, soil texture is defined by the size of the particles that make up the soil. Soil texture typically is categorized into three types: sand, silt and clayey.Full Answer >
The four agents of erosion are water, ice, wind and waves. Each of these agents is able to weather rocks, causing them to break apart after being worn down. Of the four agents of erosion, water is considered to be the most important and commonly occurring.Full Answer >