In the most visited places, tourists trample the vegetation around trails, slowly creating larger patches of vegetation free surface. This is another reason why maintaining good soil health should be our priority. Additionally, large-scale erosion accelerated by climate change threatens numerous coastal communities in Alaska. When large groups of animals feed from one area, the vegetation cannot naturally regenerate and will start dying. Soil erosion is an important cause of land degradation, productivity decline and ecological deterioration, which is the result of various factors, such as rainfall, topography, soil and vegetation (Fu et al., 2011, Pimentel et al., 1995).Soil erosion by water occurs in different forms: splash erosion, sheet erosion, rill erosion and gully erosion (Osman, 2014, Wang et al., 2015). Sedimentation also leads to the excessive growth of algae, as sunlight can get through the sediment. A new study backed by the United Nations estimates that one third of all the land is severely degraded worldwide . Mudslides not only affect structures supported by the soil but also buildings and roads that are in the path of slides. The major effects of soil erosion include: Loss of Arable Land Soil erosion removes the top fertile layer of the soil. Impaired soil productivity. This leads to the increased surface runoff, which initiates the following forms of erosion. Tunnel Erosion: a dangerous form of erosion stemmed from water permeation into soil cracks, holes or root decay, causing tunnels below the substrate. The outcome are deep gullies (up to 26 feet!) Depending on the duration and intensity of a rainfall, soils can exhibit signs of one of the four forms of the damage, including: Starting with the minor soil disruption caused by the impact of falling raindrops, splash erosion moves around small particles in the upper soil layer. This type of erosion depletes organic matter in soil, making it less suitable for planting and harvesting crops or for the natural production of vegetation. Soil erosion can also lead to mudslides and floods, negatively affecting the structural integrity of buildings and roadways. And nothing holds soil better together than dense root system of healthy plants. Without healthy soils life cannot exist. Soil erosion is an ongoing process that affects each site in a slightly different way. Greentumble is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The gradual erosion of soil creates sedimentation, a process by which rocks and minerals in the soil separate from the soil and deposit elsewhere, often lodging in streams and rivers. Soil erosion is agriculture’s enemy: a major environmental threat to sustainability and productivity with knock-on effects on the climate crisis and food security. Numerous cases from the past could help describe how agriculture contributes to soil erosion, but perhaps one of the best examples is the ‘Dust Bowl’ that turn nearly 150 million acres of land into a dry and dusty wasteland in the North America’s Midwest and Southern Great Plains in 1930s . Vegetation and top soil layers are removed and high amounts of waste from the deep layers are brought up to the surface where they often remain deposited without any further management, even though they usually contain various mineral deposits that can create a toxic cocktail after the exposure to water and oxygen. Without having space large enough, animals also repeatedly trample the vegetation and soil, triggering its further degradation and making the plant recovery more difficult. Climate change is likely to affect soil erosion by water through its effect on rainfall intensity, soil erodibility, vegetative cover, and patterns of land use. Considering how many protective functions vegetation cover has, it should come as no surprise that changes of land cover can be a primary cause of erosion in areas that previously haven’t suffered of this problem. Overgrazing is another major contributor to erosion. When rainforests are cut to make space for crops, valuable topsoil erodes away under the pressure of heavy rains and crop yields decline in a very short period of time. Such a high rate of erosion, worsened by climate change, threatens to turn 90 percent of the Mongolian territory into a desert . These types of erosion are a common sight on many agricultural lands. Soil particles are washed off into rivers, giving water a specific red color and leaving patches of eroded red dirt dispersed all over the land. Erosion from the wind causes particles of soil to become suspended in the air. Mudslides occur when fine sand, clay, silt, organic matter and soil spill off the sides of hills and slopes as a result of the force and energy of heavy rainfall. You may notice this development after flooding. In some unfortunate cases, tumultuous water even tears down houses, bridges or other otherwise sturdy structures. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), erosion degrades 200,000 hectares of land in the Philippines every year and 114 million hectares get destroyed in India. This is a global problem. While it is a natural process, caused by the weather, it is also caused by human activity, and it can cause harm to agricultural processes when it occurs rapidly and excessively. You can be the one who takes over this task and becomes the facilitator of the change for better soils. For example, researchers from the Plymouth University in the United Kingdom were appointed to investigate alarming levels of soil erosion in Tanzania. 1.6 billion tons of soil are washed off into the Yellow River from the plateau every year. Where will the famous Mongolian nomads graze their large herds of livestock then? Strong monsoon rains in Kerala, India, triggered disastrous landslides that killed many people, while the whole Northern Hemisphere boiled under extreme heat waves, sparking deadly wildfires as far as the Arctic circle. Topsoil is the most valuable, because it is nutrient-rich and feeds both seeds and plants. (A) illustrates the soil erosion rates divided into seven classes according to the European Soil Bureau classification. Mudslides not only affect structures supported by the soil but also buildings and roads that are in the path of slides. Loss of Topsoil. A well-structured soil is a central part of the soil erosion solution, as it can absorb heavy rainfall and will act as a sponge, reducing run-off. How? Water pollutants result in poor water quality -- including the quality of drinking water if the pollutants aren't removed before consumption. The major off-site problem caused by erosion is the deposition of eroded soil, along with pollutants it picked up, into watercourses. One of … 1. Additional problem is the pollution of drinking water supply, which requires extra investment into removing impurities and making water suitable for drinking again. Wind erosion does not only leave behind nutrient deprived soils that cannot support living vegetation, and thus make the situation even worse, but it also leads to a more serious problem in the long term – desertification. When erosion takes place, soil particles get loosen by water, wind or gravitational pull and can be easily carried away by the repeated action of these forces. High levels of algae remove too much oxygen from the water, resulting in the death of aquatic animals and reduced fish populations, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Soil erosion estimates predicted through the GloSEM. Erosion by wind- actually in dry areas, what happens is; particles suspended in air are carried away by the wind passing by, causing erosion. Agricultural land is among the most affected lands by erosion worldwide. Degraded land cannot support these essential soil functions or growth of vegetation, and therefore, renders affected land unsuitable for cultivation. This minimizes water infiltration and causes a myriad of changes to local hydrology. Let’s have a look at the most common causes of soil erosion. Deforestation -- the removal of trees to create room for cities and farming -- erodes soil. Wind-blown dust particles do not harm only the health of people and animals, they also damage young plants and crops. 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