Q:

How does erosion affect the earth?

A:

Quick Answer

Soil erosion has different effects depending on the type of erosion. Water erosion leeches nutrients from the soil and lowers water quality. Wind erosion lowers air quality and damages plants.

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Full Answer

Water erosion is more commonly seen than wind erosion. Water erosion directly affects the immediate area surrounding the eroded location and passively affects areas where the water flows. In the immediate area, soil loses its nutrients and minerals, which harms plants growing from the soil since they are unable to get the food they need to survive. Erosion also damages the structure and stability of the soil, which leads to much more damaging effects, such as trees falling, rock slides and landslides. These negative effects can be seen in a short span of time, such as after a bout of heavy rain.

Wind erosion is also dangerous, but is overlooked and generally more subtle in most areas. Wind erosion picks up small bits of sediment that hit any obstacles in its path. This means that plants and crops are in danger from this type of erosion. The wind picks up loose particles, which damage the structure and stability similarly to water erosion, making it easier for later wind to pick up more particulates. These particles damage plants and, in extreme cases, can bury small plants completely. The particles in the air are also damaging to humans and animals.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is wind erosion different from water erosion?

    A:

    Wind erosion happens when pieces of the Earth are worn away by strong winds over time, and water erosion happens when moving water such as ocean waves wear away rock instead of seeping into the ground. Water is a more powerful erosion force than wind.

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  • Q:

    What is lateral erosion?

    A:

    Lateral erosion is one of the three different ways that rivers and streams erode their banks and beds. As the term implies, lateral erosion is the erosion that occurs on the sides, or floodplains, of a river or stream, and it is also referred to as bank erosion. The other two forms of erosion are headward erosion and downcutting erosion.

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  • Q:

    How is erosion prevented?

    A:

    There are several ways to prevent erosion, including grassing waterways, conserving tillage, covering crops, managing pastures and fortifying stream and riverbanks. Some erosion control methods, such as fortifying embankments along waterways, take place at the source, while others, such as modifying farming techniques, occur offsite. These techniques help to control and stabilize erosion on short- and long-term bases and are ideally used in combination.

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  • Q:

    What are the types of erosion?

    A:

    The three major types of erosion are the transporting of soil or rocks by moving water, wind or ice. Water is the primary force behind erosion. The waves of the ocean, movement of a river and falling of rain are all ways water transports materials from one location to another.

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