How Does Erosion Change the Earth’s Surface?

Erosion changes the Earth’s surface by a process of breaking down and displacing soil and other material caused by wind, rain and other types of weathering. Erosion may cause soil in a region to be loosened, transported and deposited in a new area.

Rock formations and soil are constantly subjected to erosion. Sources of running water are the cause of a vast majority of erosion on the Earth’s surface, as they constantly cause erosion of riverbeds, leading to the deposition of soil in a new region and creating river deltas. Rainfall causes erosion of rocks and soil where rivers are not located. Coastlines are formed and destroyed by the constant impact of waves that also cause larger rocks to be broken down into sediment. The chemical composition of seawater also contributes to the erosion of shores and coastlines. Ice causes its surrounding environment to be eroded through the formation of glaciers. Glaciers carry larger rock particles as they move which scrape the soil below themselves and cause it to be displaced and transported.

Erosion caused by wind is known as aeolian erosion. It occurs most commonly in desert regions, causing loose soil to be transported and deposited into formations known as sand dunes. Rock formations subjected to constant high winds may be broken down into sediment over time.