Causes of soil degradation

Lesson 17: Soil pollution


Soil erosion can be defined as the movement of surface litter and topsoil from one place to another. While erosion is a natural process, often causes by wind and flowing water, it is greatly accelerated by human activities such as farming, construction, overgrazing by livestock, burning of glass cover, and, deforestation.

The loss of the topsoil makes a soil less fertile and reduces its water-holding capacity. The topsoil, which is washed away, also contributes to water pollution by clogging lakes and increasing the turbidity of the water, ultimately leading to the loss of aquatic life, for 1 inch of topsoil to be formed it normally requires 200-1000 years, depending upon the climate and soil type. Thus if the topsoil erodes faster than it is form the soil becomes a non-renewable resource. Therefore, it is essential that proper soil conservation measures are used to minimize the loss of the topsoil.


Last modified: Monday, 2 January 2012, 6:59 AM