Q:

What does the phrase "grass erosion dam" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

Whether in utility work, road construction or agriculture, grass erosion dams are either net tubes used to slow the flow of runoff or unploughed strips of earth used to prevent soil from being washed away due to erosion. In either application, the goal is the same: reduce the risk of water eroding the surrounding area.

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Full Answer

While the application and forms can vary, erosion dams are an essential part of any construction project. This is especially true with very damp areas or construction taking place on a slope. With road construction, the risk of the roadway being undercut by water run off is very real. The danger results from a loss of structural stability which occurs when too much of the supporting soil becomes stripped from beneath the asphalt, eventually causing the shoulder of the road to fail and collapse. Any disturbed earth presents a similar problem, whether from recent utility work or other construction work. To prevent this, mats or tubes of clay and grass stalks are secured to the ground in high risk areas. These products dam up a drainage area or create a catch point for run off, giving it a chance to soak in the soil while also impeding its momentum as it moves downhill.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is chemical erosion?

    A:

    Chemical erosion occurs when water transports dissolved minerals away from their source rocks. It follows chemical weathering, which results from the chemical alteration of rock by water. Chemical erosion is most common with limestone; slightly acidic rainwater dissolves calcium carbonate in the rock and redeposits it, sometimes far away, as in stalagmites and stalactites. Through oxidation, chemical erosion also occurs to some degree with unstable igneous minerals and iron-rich rocks.

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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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  • Q:

    What causes erosion?

    A:

    Erosion is a process that causes the soil surface to wear out; geological erosion is caused naturally by water, wind or gravity, and accelerated erosion is caused by human use of land. Geologists estimate that 70 percent of soil erosion is caused by human activities like excessive construction, agriculture, surface mining and forestry.

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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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