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Soil erosion is the process of detachment or weathering away of the soil particles from the ground by various agents. The land is rendered barren when the rate of erosion is rapid and is accelerated by human intervention. An intense form of erosion can make the land completely unproductive and devoid of natural vegetation. This further results in drought and low rainfall. As a whole, the cycles of nature are completely disturbed. You can very clearly make out that it has become a serious environmental concern as the consequences have affected the environment directly. Awareness programs are being launched to make people understand how devastating its effects could be in the near future and thereby implement stringent measures to control soil erosion.

Interesting Facts about Soil Erosion

We have covered the causes, consequences and the preventive methods under the next section. It's important to know these three factors for understanding soil erosion completely. The facts will be clear to you from the following points.

Causes of Soil Erosion
  • The extreme speed of a flowing river is one of the primary reasons behind soil erosion taking place in river basins and coastal regions. High altitudinal land gets eroded as the river flows from the top while the sediment gets deposited on the low lying lands. Thus, erosion occurs in patches.
  • Wind is the most devastating agent of soil erosion and this kind of erosion is most evident in desert and dry lands. Wind has the ability to weather rocks, soil, etc. and transport them to different zones, leaving the land completely eroded.
  • Soil erosion can also be caused by glaciers and ice. Soil particles get removed along with moving glaciers and it happens in snow capped regions and high altitudes.
  • Other factors that affect soil erosion are temperature, wind speed and rate of precipitation of that particular region. Regions having hot and humid climate, high wind velocity and very low precipitation rate are vulnerable to soil erosion.
  • Grazing of cattle, felling tress and construction activities cause extensive soil erosion.
Effects
  • Soil erosion leads to development of new topological structures due to deposition of soil particles.
  • The vegetation of the region is affected as a result of soil erosion. When soil gets weathered then the productivity and fertility of the land decrease.
  • Moisture content and mineral holding capacity of the soil are greatly reduced. Thus, the land becomes devoid of every kind of agricultural activity.
  • Since it is a gradual process, there is a marked reduction in the weight of the earth's mantle and surface layers after a certain period. This subsequently leads to tectonic shift in the earth's crust.
  • Barren lands and absence of rainfall due to severe erosion causes drought.
Prevention
  • Shifting vegetation, afforestation, conservation tillage, gardening, and contour farming are some constructive means to control soil erosion.
  • Erosion control products help in retaining the organic value and maintaining the pH of the soil. Soil nutrients are also restored by mulching.
  • Soil erosion control is done by planting erosion control plants. Native plants, willow trees and yarrow flowers help in retaining the moisture of the soil.
  • One of the most effective techniques to prevent soil erosion is controlling the rate of grazing of the land that is vulnerable to erosion. Separate land is allocated for grazing animals.
  • Hydrophobic regions are watered regularly in order to keep the loose soil particles attached to the ground. This way rate of erosion can be reduced.
Those were the facts about soil erosion that everyone should be aware of. Though the environment protection sectors have taken conscientious steps in preventing soil erosion, lot more still needs to be done to curb it completely. However, we, individually can do simple things like watering land and planting trees in order to protect the soil from getting eroded.