Q:

How does running water cause erosion?

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Quick Answer

Running water causes erosion through friction. Additionally, running water can carry dust, silt or sand particles, which may also work to erode a given surface. Typically, water erodes surfaces in one of four ways.

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How does running water cause erosion?
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Full Answer

The most common type of water-induced erosion is called “sheet erosion." When water causes sheet erosion, a thin layer of substrate is removed. Sheet erosion is most common following flood events or the changing of the tides.

Rill erosion occurs when small streams of water pour down a hillside. This type of erosion takes the form of small, thin ditches that resemble a river and its tributaries. Greater erosion occurs at the bottom of hills with rills, because the water carries dirt with it, which causes the bottom of the hill to be eroded by both the water and the free sediment.

Gully erosion is caused by running water; it typically occurs as a result of the digging of a river channel. Gullies are usually so large that they do not disintegrate quickly. Erosion can also be caused by the splashing of water. Called “splash erosion”, water droplets cause the soil to fly up into the air. Sometimes, grains of sand are thrown three feet or more.

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Related Questions

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    How can acid rain cause erosion?

    A:

    Acid rain causes erosion by chemically reacting with certain minerals in rock, causing it to dissolve in the water and otherwise escape the structures in which it is bonded. This is a particularly a problem with limestone and rocks derived from it, such as marble. The basic constituent of limestone is calcium carbonate, which is very vulnerable to acidic compounds.

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    What is chemical erosion?

    A:

    Chemical erosion occurs when water transports dissolved minerals away from their source rocks. It follows chemical weathering, which results from the chemical alteration of rock by water. Chemical erosion is most common with limestone; slightly acidic rainwater dissolves calcium carbonate in the rock and redeposits it, sometimes far away, as in stalagmites and stalactites. Through oxidation, chemical erosion also occurs to some degree with unstable igneous minerals and iron-rich rocks.

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    What are the types of erosion?

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    The three major types of erosion are the transporting of soil or rocks by moving water, wind or ice. Water is the primary force behind erosion. The waves of the ocean, movement of a river and falling of rain are all ways water transports materials from one location to another.

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    What are the four agents of erosion?

    A:

    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.

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