Soil erosion is caused when elements such as wind and rain remove surface soil. The eroded soil is then carried away and deposited by the wind or rain.
Plants help bind soil together with their roots and reduce soil erosion by providing shelter from wind and rain. Accelerated soil erosion occurs when the soil is eroded faster than it can reform. Topsoil is nutrient-rich and forms the top layer of the soil. When soil erosion occurs, topsoil is the first layer to be removed, resulting in a lower quality, less habitable soil. Less plants grow where the topsoil has been removed, resulting in further erosion of the soil.