Soil erosion negatively affects the environment by stunting the new growth of plant life due to removal of topsoil. Erosion greatly reduces the quality of the soil.Continue Reading
Soil erosion is caused by rain, improper farming techniques and wind. When erosion occurs in soil, it typically involves the removal of the top layer. This layer is the topsoil and contains many nutrients essential to supporting plant life. When the topsoil is removed, the quality of the soil is reduced. This results in less plant life growing in the affected area. Plants bind soil together with their roots, and if they are unable to grow in the soil, erosion may be accelerated. Soil erosion can lead to the destruction of animal habitats, forcing them to relocate. Water causes soil erosion by carrying off topsoil during rainfall and dispersing it in the surrounding region.
Improper tillage practices can lead to accelerated soil erosion. If the local plant life is disturbed or removed in high quantities, erosion may occur with little resistance. Cross-slope tillage should be practiced in place of up-and-down-slope tillage because it reduces the effects of erosion. Proper crop rotation provides healthy plant growth in the soil and reduces the effect that wind and rain may have on the soil. Without healthy farming practices focused on the soil, the crops' growth and yield may be negatively affected by erosion.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 >
Contour plowing conserves soil by following the lay of the land and creating ridges that form a water break to prevent soil erosion. Furrows that do not follow the lay of the land cause rapid runoff during rainfall by forming a convenient channel for the water to flow downhill.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Organic matter and plant nutrients make soil fertile. Healthy soil contains an abundance of organic matter, such as dead plants and animal tissues that decompose and enrich soil as humus. This improves the soil’s texture, as it increases the soil’s aeration and ability to absorb and drain moisture.Full Answer >