What is the primary cause of soil erosion?

Question:

What is the primary cause of soil erosion?

Erosive Behavior:

Soil erosion represents a real ecological threat in areas where it erodes faster than it can be built back up. Extensive soil erosion can make it difficult or even impossible for plant life to take root.

Answer and Explanation:

The primary cause of soil erosion is weathering, which means the impact of water and wind. As fast as mountains are rising up into the sky, forces of the planet are working to tear them down. Rainfall is a major cause of weathering, since it can directly move soil into new areas, but the freezing process of ice can also break up rock and dislodge soil. Wind can move tremendous quantities of soil if there is not enough moisture in the ground to keep it together: as an example, wind in the Sahara Desert picks up small grains of sand and transports it as far away as South America. Weathering can be a gradual process, or can lead to landslides and collapses fairly quickly.


Learn more about this topic:

Soil Conservation: Fighting Soil Erosion With Sustainable Soil Use

from DSST Environmental Science: Study Guide & Test Prep

Chapter 6 / Lesson 15
30K

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