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.
Water erosion is the force behind the formation of the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River has carved a canyon that is a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide. The material the water picks up deposits in other locations when the water slows down. The Mississippi River forms rich delta lands at its mouth by depositing such materials.
During the 1930s wind erosion lifted soil from farmland, resulting in the Dust Bowl and affecting 75 percent of the United States. On Black Sunday, a dust storm deposited dirt and debris swept from the Plains States onto Washington. Wind erosion is responsible for formations like those in Utah's Arches National Park.
Moving glaciers also erode and deposit materials in their path. This slow-moving ice cuts deeply into the earth, forming basins and mountains with steep sides. When the ice encounters warmer temperatures and melts, it deposits the dirt and rocks it has picked up along the way.