There are different types of Erosion. Firstly, there is erosion by water and lastly erosion by wind. Now, we will discuss how these type of erosions occur and how we can prevent them in future circumstances in order to protect not only humanity but also our planet.
(How to prevent soil erosion in general)
Vegetation: planting vegetation is a spectacular way to prevent erosion as it establishes a root system and stabilises Soil.
Geotextiles: are permeable fabric when used with soil have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce and drain.
Retaining walls: can be officially built around the area of erosion to prevent water run off. Run off water leads to further erosion and if used with other methods, retaining walls can be effective.
Mulch/fertilizer: applying a layer of mulch to the soil top allows the soil to soak water as it protects against rain impact and restores pH levels helping with erosion prevention.
Note: soil erosion is the leading factor of water pollution!
Erosion by water
Rainfall intensity and run off: impact of rain drops will break up the soil and water build up will create a run off, taking sediment with it.
Soil erodibility: based on the characteristics of each unique soil, it is more or less susceptible to erosion. Recurring erosion is more typical for soil in areas that have experienced erosion in the past.
Slope gradient and length: the steeper the slop, the greater the amount of soil can be lost. As the soil erodes downwards, it increases the slope degree which in turn creates further erosion
Vegetation: vegetative cover of plants or crop residues protect the soil from rain drop impact and splash. The less vegetation cover, the more erosion can occur.
Effects of soil erosion
The loss of natural nutrients and possible fertilisers directly affect crop emergence, growth and yield. Seeds can be disturbed and pesticides can be carried off. The soil quality, structure, etc. are also affected which affects the holding capacity of soil. Eroded soil can prevent the growth of seeds, bury seedlings, contribute to road damage and contaminate water areas.
Erosion by wind
Erodibility of soil: finest particles are transported by wind, while heavier particles are blown across the surface causing abrasion.
Soil surface roughness: soil surfaces that are not rough offer little resistance to wind erosion. Excess tillage can contribute to the breakdown of soil.
Climate: soil moisture levels at the surface can become extremely low in times of drought, increasing particles to be carried by the wind. Conversely, this effect can happen in cold climates too.
Unsheltered distance: the lack of windbreaks allows wind to transport particles a farther distance, increasing abrasion and erosion.
Vegetative cover: lack of vegetation creates loose and dry soil that is perfect for wind transport.
Effects of soil erosion
Crops can be completely ruined resulting in delay and reseeding. Plants can become sandblasted resulting in decreased yield. Soil drifting depletes fertility and continual drifting can change the texture of soil.
Natural erosion is an innate part of our Earth. However, humans have accelerated the rate of erosion by overgrazing, deforestation and over cropping which has led to major desertification. Thus, by trying harder to prevent soil erosion, we can work with farmers, us and the rest of the world in order to make the Earth a better place to live on rather than creating harsh regions that are completely deserted and can never be restored.