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Erosion | Types, Effects, and Definition

Erosion is defined as a geographical and geological process in which the top components of the earth’s surface, get worn off and transported away from their original location; by wind, water, gravity, or any manmade and natural mechanical processes, which leads to the distortion of the earth’s surface and inbalance in the geological structures of the planet earth.

This article is all about erosion; the types, effects, and definition of erosion. Effect of erosion on the environment simply means the ways in which erosion and the activities of erosion affect the environment and the ecosystem at large.

The topic “effect of erosion on the environment” is a diverse one that covers the mechanisms, types, effects, and prevention of the different types of erosion; as erosion is one of the biggest problems our world is facing.

Erosion | Types, Effects, and Definition

Before we go on to list and explain the effect of erosion on the environment, let’s first talk about the major types of erosion found in the environment.

  1. Wind Erosion
  2. Water Erosion
  3. Coastal Erosion
  4. Soil Erosion
  5. Gravity Erosion

    Wind Erosion

Wind erosion can be defined as an anemological and geological process that involves the detachment and transportation of the top layer of the soil from one place to another by wind, the rate at which this process happens depends wholly on the intensity of the wind, the compactibility( tightness-looseness) of the soil and the preventive measures put in place before the occurrence.

Types and Effect of Wind Erosion on the Environment

Here is a list of types and effects of wind erosion/effect of erosion on the environment:

What are the Types of Wind Erosion

Below are the types of wind erosion:

Surface Creep

This is the type of wind erosion that involves the mild movement of soil particles by the wind, it usually occurs when the wind speed of the wind exceeds 21 kilometers per hour( 13 miles per hour), this displaces the particles of the topsoil and they start to roll along the surface of the ground.

Saltation

Saltation is the type of wind erosion that involves or causes the soil particles to leap off the surface of the earth and into the air, this process successes the surface creep as it takes place when the speed of the wind goes beyond 30 kilometers per hour( 18.64 miles).

Suspension

This is the type of wind erosion in which the top particles of the soil, gets detached and lifted into the air in a more violent way, and on a higher height, they get blown for long distances, this type of air erosion can cause large sand and small rock particles to fly about.

Blecion

Blecion is a type of wind erosion that is caused by very powerful air movements( winds), it is similar to suspension nut it is extremely violent; this type of wind can split the ground also can carry away roof-tops, trees, and many more.


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What are the Causes of Wind Erosion

Below are the factors or mechanisms causing wind erosion:

Hurricane

A hurricane is a storm that has a maximum sustained wind reaching up to 74 miles per hour. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale has a rating of 1 to 5, or category, based on the maximum sustained wind of a hurricane. The higher the category, the greater the probability of the hurricane doing greater damage to lives and properties.

The hurricane’s annual season is known to begin on June 1 and end on November 30, but they can still occur at other times of the year, but they do so sparingly. Watching a hurricane without getting harmed might be a fantasy, but experiencing a hurricane is something no one would love to do.

Tsunami

A tsunami is defined as a series of waves that occurs in a water body, primarily caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, usually in an ocean or a large water body. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and underwater explosions like glacier calvings, detonations, meteorite impacts, landslides, and other disturbances; inside, above, or on the water body has a probability of causing a tsunami.

Tornado

A tornado is geographically defined as a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud, it is often referred to as a whirlwind, cyclone, or twister wind, which can be very destructive. A tornado is one of the factors causing wind erosion.

The wildest of tornadoes can attain a speed of more than 400 kilometers per hour( 300 miles per hour), they can also have diameters that are more than 3 kilometers( 2 miles) and travel for as far as 100 kilometers destroying or damaging objects on its path, before gently dispersing.

What are the Effects of Wind Erosion

Below is a list of effects of soil erosion( effect of erosion on the environment):

Reduction in Soil Fertility

Wind erosion causes a reduction in soil fertility as it carries away the top layer of the soil, which is the layer that contains many fresh nutrients necessary for plant growth and fruit production.

Destroys Earth Surface

Wind erosion carries away the topsoil and rocks from one place to another, thereby causing deformation to the geological and natural formations of the earth; this leads to an imbalance among the forces of nature.

Encourages Erosion

Wind erosion encourages the outbreak of water and soil erosion as it breaks off the surface of the earth, thereby making it easier for water to carry away the inner layers of the soil, and this is a major effect of erosion on the environment.

What is Prevention of Wind Erosion

  1. Wind breaking: Wind breaking as a method of preventing wind erosion, simply implies; the act of planting trees and shrubs around a particular area of land in other to slow the motion of any approaching wind current,
  2. Cover cropping: Cover cropping is the act of planting short or land crawling plants( legumes), this method is very effective for prevention of the mild forms of wind erosion.

Water Erosion

Water erosion can be defined geographical process that causes the detachment and transportation of rock or soil particles due to the force exerted on them by a moving water body; it may be a river, flood, stream, coastline, drop from roof-tops, or any other water source, the rate of the damage done depends wholly on the size and speed of the water body, and the compactibility( tightness-looseness) of the contact’s surface.


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Types and Effects of Water Erosion on The Environment

What are Types of Water Erosion

Sheet Erosion

Sheet erosion or sheet wash is a type of water erosion that wears off the surface of the topsoil in a uniformed manner of small layers, such erosion is caused by a slow-moving body of water over an area of the ground, such erosion is primarily caused by floods and can occur in hillslopes, beaches, floodplains, overflown river banks, and coastal plains; water bodies capable of causing sheet erosion are called sheet flow.

Splash Erosion

Splash erosion is a type of water erosion that wears off the topsoil around a small area of the ground, this type of erosion is caused by water. dropping to the ground; good examples of the causal factors are waterfalls and roof drops, the damage caused by the erosion is dependent on soil compatibility and water quantity involved.

Gully Erosion

A gully erosion as a type of water erosion is a landform created by a body of fast-flowing water, breaking up the topsoil and also eroding the inner layers of the soil, thereby causing the emergence of a deep hole, in rare cases; the gully can have a depth of over hundred meters and a width of similar size or smaller. The primary cause of gully erosion is over-flooding and continuous heavy rainfall.

Rill Erosion

A rill is a shallow channel; not deeper than 10 centimeters, cut into the soil by the erosive action of flowing water, it occurs when the soil is water-logged and rainwater fails to soak into the soil, but flow along the ground. If adequate preventive measures are not taken, rills develop in gullies and cause bigger damage.

Mechanisms/Causes of Water Erosion

  1. poor town planning
  2. poor drainage system
  3. Continuous and heavy rainfall

Effects of Water Erosion on The Environment

Below is a list of effects of soil erosion( effect of erosion on the environment):

Reduces Soil Compatibility

One of the effects of water erosion is that it reduces the compatibility of the soil as it breaks into the soil, thereby making it easy for other forms of erosion to occur in the given area of land.

Reduces Soil Fertility

Water erosion carries away the topsoil which is where fresh nutrients necessary for plant survival can be found thereby affecting the soil’s fertility level in a negative way.

Damage to Life and Properties

Water erosion in its extremity can cause considerable damages to lives and properties.

What is the Prevention of Water Erosion

Below is a list of effects of soil erosion( effect of erosion on the environment):

  1. Cover cropping: Cover cropping is a very effective method of preventing water erosion, it helps increase soil compatibility and also slows the movement of water over the surface of the ground.
  2. Drainage construction: The right construction of drainages is also an effective way of preventing water erosion as it helps channel the rain waters to nearby water bodies and prevents flooding.
  3. Town planning: Correct town planning by the environmental agencies helps channel water to the right places and prevent water erosion.

Coastal Erosion

Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment and rocks due to the action of, wind-driven water currents, tides, waterborne ice, waves, or other impacts of storms along the coastline. The landward retreat of the shoreline can be measured and described over a temporal scale of tides, seasons, and other short-term cyclic processes.


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Types and Effect of Coastal Erosion

Here is a list of types and effects of coastal erosion/effect of erosion on the environment:

What are the Types of Coastal Erosion

Hydraulic action

Hydraulic action is the sheer power of the waves as they smash against the cliff. Air becomes trapped in the cracks in the rock and causes the rock to break apart.

Waves breaking against the cliff cause any air pockets trapped within joints and cracks to compress. The pressure may cause the cracks to widen, thereby weakening the cliff surface and leading to fragments of the rock breaking away.

Abrasion

Coastal abrasion is the type of erosion that occurs when ocean waves; especially one containing sand or pieces of rocks hits the coastline or headland, thereby causing parts of the ground or rock on the coastline to break loose; this hydraulic action of the waves contributes much to coastal erosion.

Attrition

Attrition is a type of coastal erosion that involves the coastline or river bed being eroded by itself and water. As rocks and other particles are transported downstream over a riverbed, the impacts of the waters containing the rocks and other particles on the riverbed cause it to erode, break into smaller fragments, and get washed downstream.

Corrosion/Solution

Some of the weak acids found in the seawater and oceans are capable of corroding and eroding certain coastal rocks and lands especially weak rocks like limestone and chalks.

What are the Causes of Coastal Erosion

  1. Effects of poor sanitation blocking the paths of flood or other water bodies.
  2. Global warming; which causes the ice floating on the waters around the world to melt and cause the tides to rise.
  3. Weak soil or rock formation around the coastal areas.

What are The Effects of Coastal Erosion on the Environment

Below is a list of effects of coastal erosion( effect of erosion on the environment):

Affects Wildlife

Coastal erosion has some very negative effects upon the environment; as it leads to loss of habitat, especially for coast-dwelling animals and species, this results in their death and thereby causing ecological imbalance.

Disruption of Activites

Coastal erosion affects human activities like tourism, beaching, and others. It sometimes does affect fishermen thereby affecting the economy in that way.

Causes Loss to Life and Properties

Coastal erosion causes loss of properties and sometimes causes loss of life; every year coastal erosion accounts for the loss of properties worth some couple of a hundred million dollars.

What is the Prevention of Coastal Erosion

  1. Construction of groins: Groins are long and solid walls built for the main purpose of trapping sand moving down the beach, they extend from the beach to the ocean and are built in a perpendicular position to the coastline, it is also an effective barrier against longshore currents. This is an effective method of preventing coastal erosion.
  2. Use of breakwaters: Breakwaters are bodies consisting of large and hard piles of concrete man-made or natural rock blocks put in a parallel position to the coast. They effectively act as wave barriers as the waves coming from the waters hit them instead of hitting the shore and the particles they carry with them are dumped among the breakwater thereby strengthening them.
  3. Construction of jetties: Jetties are man-made walls that are used to prevent coastal erosion; they are built along the sides of an inlet, the main purpose is to keep the inlets from shifting from their positions and to keep them open. They are usually built from concrete and steel and perpendicular to the coast for increased effectiveness.

Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is defined as the geographical and geological process that involves the wearing away of the topsoil and inner soil layers by factors like wind, water, or gravity, the rate at which soil erosion occurs depend on the compactibility( tightness-looseness) of the soil.

What is Soil Erosion Class 10

Soil erosion for class 10 simply means the removal and transportation of the topsoil by natural agents like; wind( windstorms), water( streams, oceans, rivers, flood, etc) or gravity; creating land irregularities.


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Types and Effect of Soil Erosion

Here is a list of types and effects of soil erosion/effect of erosion on the environment:

Types of Soil Erosion

 Splash Erosion

Splash erosion is a type of soil erosion that wears off the topsoil around a small area of the ground, this type of erosion is caused by water. dropping to the ground; good examples of the causal factors are waterfalls, roof drops, and tree drops; the rate of damage done by the erosion is to the soil’s compatibility and water quantity involved.

Sheet Erosion

Sheet erosion or sheet wash is a type of soil erosion that wears off the surface of the topsoil slowly and gradually in small layers, such erosion is caused by a slow-moving body of water over an area of the ground, such erosion is primarily caused by floods and can occur on hillslopes, beaches, floodplains, overflown river banks, and coastal plains.

Rill Erosion

A rill is a shallow channel; not deeper than 10 centimeters, cut into the soil by the erosive action of flowing water, it occurs when the soil fails to soak up rainwater and it flows along the ground due to the effects of water-logging. If adequate preventive measures are not taken, rills develop in gullies and cause bigger damage.

Gully Erosion

A gully erosion as a type of soil erosion is a landform created by a body of fast-flowing water; breaking up the topsoil and also eroding the inner layers of the soil, causing a hole to appear in the ground, in rare cases; the gully can have a depth of over hundred meters and a width of similar size or smaller, but this happens only when it is left uncontrolled.

Stream Bank Erosion

Stream bank erosion is the type of coastal erosion that involves the wearing away of the banks of a stream or river. This is distinguished from erosion of the bed of the watercourse, which is referred to as scour. The roots of trees growing by a stream are undercut by such erosion. As the roots bind the soil tightly, they form abutments that jut out over the water.

What is the Effect of Soil Erosion

Below is a list of effects of soil erosion( effect of erosion on the environment):

Causes the Formation of Land Irregularities

Soil erosion causes the formation of irregular landforms like; gullies, rills, sand dunes, and many other types of irregular land formations.

Reduces Soil Fertility

Soil erosion causes a reduction in the fertility of the soil; because it carries away some useful nutrients needed for plant growth.

Causes Loss of Life and Properties

Soil erosion most often than not causes loss or damage to properties, ranging from damaging roads, buildings, farms, etc; and rarely leads to loss of life.

Prevention of soil erosion

  1. Cover cropping: Cover cropping helps to increase soil compactibility, reduces the pressure with which objects; especially rainfall hits the ground, and also reduces the speed at which water flows over and erodes the topsoil; thereby preventing soil erosion.
  2. Proper drainage system: The construction of a proper drainage system in homes and communities help to keep floodwaters on their path, thereby helping prevent soil erosion in the process.
  3. Tree planting: The act of planting trees helps to prevent soil erosion as the shoot of the tree receives drops of rainwater and helps reduce their pressure before they reach the ground.
  4. Use of slope-base walls: Slope-base walls are simply wall built at the base of slopes to help hold the slopes from crashing and forming gullies, building them is an effective way of preventing soil erosion.

Conclusion

This is a complete article about the prevention, mechanism, types, and effect of erosion on the environment and I believe it serves the purpose of anyone looking to find out every possible information on the effect of erosion on the environment.

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