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:

    What is erosion?

    A:

    Erosion is a natural process in which rocks or soil are moved from one location to another by wind or water. Material may move through erosion for distances ranging from a few feet to thousands of miles. Erosion often is most noticeable along shorelines, but it occurs in a variety of areas throughout the world.

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  • 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 are the effects of erosion?

    A:

    The effects of erosion are varied, but the most obvious effect is the removal and destruction of land. Whether caused by wind or water, erosion leads to the displacement of soil, rocks, plants and seeds. These direct effects can often lead to broader consequences, including shrinking habitats for animals, accumulation of sediments, the removal of nutrients and other negative effects.

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  • Q:

    How does erosion occur?

    A:

    Erosion occurs as a result of wind and water moving across earth and picking up part or all of dirt or rocks. By definition, erosion only requires earth to be moved, but in most cases, rocks or land are also worn down or broken into pieces.

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