Copyright

Erosion Lesson for Kids: Definition, Facts & Types

Instructor: Dacia Upkins

Dacia has taught all core elementary subjects for 14 years with a Master's degree in Urban Teacher Leadership.

Did you know that some landforms get created by a destructive process? In this lesson you will learn how erosion affects the surface of the Earth through different forces.

Break It Down, Erosion!

If you were to take a picture of the same spot in a sand desert again and again for months, you'd observe that it changes appearance very often. In fact, if you showed one picture after another, you could create a really cool time lapse photography slideshow! Deserts with sand are constantly changing because wind blows the small granules of the sand around, causing the dunes, or hills, to be reshaped.

Wind erosion causes sand dunes to change shape.
sand dune

Sand dunes and other landforms are affected by a destructive process called erosion. Erosion is the process of breaking down and carrying away sand or other land debris through various powerful forces, mainly wind, water and ice.

Wind and Water and Ice, Oh My!

Wind Erosion

Wind not only affects the landscape in places like the desert, but in rocky places as well. Rocks exposed to wind and other natural forces break apart, a process called 'weathering.' These broken pieces of rock are what get carried away through erosion.

Strong winds can be powerful enough to turn an uneven rock surface into a smooth, shiny sheet-like surface. Ventifacts are rocks that have been polished and smoothed by wind erosion.

Water Erosion

Just like wind, water can cause erosion in different ways. When rain falls on the ground, it can pick up small particles of land and carry them away, but large amounts of rainfall can cause floods which create sudden changes to land. However, sometimes water erodes surfaces over a long period of time. The Colorado River has worn down the rock of the Grand Canyon over millions of years, creating striking v-shaped valleys. When ocean waves crash against shorelines, they carry away pieces of sand and rock, forming the jagged cliffs found beside some beaches.

Crashing ocean waves forge rocky cliffs.
cliff

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support