Scariest Causes and Effects of Soil Erosion

Causes and Effects

Soil erosion is the number one threat to food security and sustainable agricultural practices. It degrades the topsoil and washes away the soil fertility, therefore, reducing productivity.

The threat to food security is an oasis of poverty. The washed away particles cause havoc downstream.

The sediments cause siltation, which further raises the river bed, causing flooding- another natural disaster.

Therefore, the only option we have is to try as much as possible and prevent soil erosion. The mudslide we hear in local and international news is a result of uncontrolled soil erosion causes.

Once the topsoil is eroded downstream, it weakens the base of some of the rocks, which now also find an easy route downhill.

What are the causes of soil erosion?

Before we look at the causes, it’s important to understand the agents of soil erosion. They include

Wind
Ice
Water
Gravity

With this in mind, it’s important to note that erosion agents must exist for erosion to occur. Therefore, the causes are in line with these components.

Hence the human activities must consider the agents to help in the fight against soil erosion.

Crop farming

Vegetation cover is a barrier to soil erosion. Cop farming has to get rid of vegetation cover during plowing.

During the winter months, the land remains fallow, making it prone to erosion agents like wind and ice.

During the summer, the wind blows away the top soils making the land less fertile. Therefore, as much as farming is important, it’s important to practice sustainable agricultural practices to have a status quo for both agriculture and nature.

Here are some of the most advisable agricultural activities

Afforestation
Agroforestry
Plowing along the contours
Practicing intercropping

Livestock farming

Grazing exposes the soils to the agents of erosion. Besides, the weight of the animals also overwhelms the ground by removing all the vegetation cover.

Livestock farming is important because it adds humus through organic manure, but it should be controlled so that we only have an animal for every 30 square feet.

Anything more than this number is detrimental to the environment.

Mining and quarrying

The minerals deep in the ground are valuable, but their extraction is a threat to environmental conservation.

Opencast mining in specific exposes the land to all erosion agents irrespective of any time of the year.

Once the land is left to fallow and bear, the wind easily blows away the soil. It looks like a simple activity, but the overall effect is an ecological threat.

Mining disturbs the natural coexistence of organic and inorganic matter, which all play a role in soil fertility.

Tree cutting

Trees act as a good vegetation cover, for they hold the soil against the agents of erosion. Besides, trees act as a windbreaker.

It reduces the wind’s speed; simultaneously, it holds the wind from reaching the ground for erosion.

The leaves and branches that also fall from the trees are a source of humus for fertility. They also help to cover the soil.

As the wind blows, it can blow off the leaves before it reaches the soil. Meaning it keeps the soil intact.

As the tree cutters get deep into the forests, they need to pave the way for the tractors, which means they also create a route for the eroded soils to have a definite route downhill.

As they move down, they carry boulders that erode the surface, further eroding the surface.

The Effects of Soil Erosion

Loss of soil fertility

Soil erosion goes away with all the topsoil leaving unproductive soil, which affects the crop yield.

All the essential nutrients that support plant growth are in the topsoil. Once it’s eroded, then you have nothing left for you to use as humus for your plant growth. Is that not a threat to food security?

Water pollution

The eroded content finds its way to the waters. This is water pollution, which means that the water we find on our taps may also be unfit for consumption.

Moreover, the waters are a natural habitat for aquatic animals. That is the point you get to have dead floating fish in rivers.

As they move downstream, they pick everything they find on their way, which is toxic to the fish species.

That explains why we have a decline in specific aquatic species.

Flooding

The eroded material finds its way to the water bodies. The sediments increase the sea bed meaning the waters can no longer be accommodated within the river bed.

The result is an overflow of water to adjacent lands. The flooding comes with its share of challenges.

The adverse effect of soil erosion on the physical and human environment explains why the government has stringent measures and conservation strategies to prevent soil erosion.

 

The Effects of Soil Erosion

Loss of soil fertility

Soil erosion goes away with all the topsoil leaving unproductive soil, which affects the crop yield.

All the essential nutrients that support plant growth are in the topsoil. Once it’s eroded, then you have nothing left for you to use as humus for your plant growth. Is that not a threat to food security?

Water pollution

The eroded content finds its way to the waters. This is water pollution, which means that the water we find on our taps may also be unfit for consumption.

Moreover, the waters are a natural habitat for aquatic animals. That is the point you get to have dead floating fish in rivers.

As they move downstream, they pick everything they find on their way, which is toxic to the fish species.

That explains why we have a decline in specific aquatic species.

Flooding

The eroded material finds its way to the water bodies. The sediments increase the sea bed meaning the waters can no longer be accommodated within the river bed.

The result is an overflow of water to adjacent lands. The flooding comes with its share of challenges.

The adverse effect of soil erosion on the physical and human environment explains why the government has stringent measures and conservation strategies to prevent soil erosion.

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