Waves cause erosion by moving sand and debris during storms and other events, as they break higher than normal on the beach, pulling sand back into the water with them. Human interventions and major weather events such as tropical storms and hurricanes erode beaches in this way.Know More
While waves appear to be a source of powerful movement, the truth is that they really do not cause that much movement of sand. As impressive as waves appear, the water movement involved is actually quite small, and it takes place in round paths at a right angle with the ground, according to the University of Oklahoma.
In some situations, waves add to the amount of sand on a beach, as they pick up sand from the bottom of the sea and leave it behind on the beach. While some beaches get smaller over time, others get larger as a result, as the sand moves in a cyclical pattern.
Human interaction with the environment causes waves to erode beaches more than they would naturally. Building jetties, seawalls and other structures to keep the sea from working in toward shore causes water to head back to sea with more velocity than would a normal wave washing off the shore. Over time, the beach loses more sand.Learn more about Erosion & Weathering
Wind is the agent of erosion that creates sand dunes. The wind blows grains of sand into a sheltered or otherwise secure location, allowing gradual accumulation.Full Answer >
Acid rain causes erosion by chemically reacting with certain minerals in rock, causing it to dissolve in the water and otherwise escape the structures in which it is bonded. This is a particularly a problem with limestone and rocks derived from it, such as marble. The basic constituent of limestone is calcium carbonate, which is very vulnerable to acidic compounds.Full Answer >
Gravity causes erosion by pulling dirt, rocks and soil downward. For example, as water mixes with dirt to form soft mud, the mud cannot support itself against the force of gravity.Full Answer >
Three main natural forces bring about erosion: wind, water and ice. When water flows and moves heavily, it can cause soil erosion. Strong winds, especially in the desert, erode sand dunes. Glacial erosion has significantly shaped the surface of the earth for millions of years.Full Answer >