Soil erosion

Lesson 7: Land resources

Soil erosion

Soils support variety of crops. Misuse of an ecosystem leads to the loss of valuable soil through erosion by water/rainfall and wind. Soil erosion means soil is washed away into streams, transported into rivers and finally lost to the sea. It is more severe in hill slopes as in Himalayas and western ghats called as Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs). Destruction of natural vegetation cover by overfelling and overgrazing is the genesis of soil erosion. Water and wind are the principal causes for the removal of soil from one place to another.

Causes for soil erosion

  1. When trees are cut or the soil ploughed, as the plant roots bind the soil, their destruction allows the soil to be readily moved by wind or flowing water.
  2. Disturbance of the cycles involving humans and nitrogen. Dependency on fertilizers rich in nitrogen increases the nitrogen content of soil and adjacent water ways. If fertilizers are not used, soil fertility continues to decline.

Last modified: Thursday, 29 December 2011, 6:05 AM