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  • Types and Causes of Soil Erosion

Types and Causes of Soil Erosion

Types of Soil Erosion:

Sheet erosion is very common on lands with little or no vegetation. Sheet erosion erodes the top layer of the soil and exposes infertile sub-soil, thus leading to severe loss of plant nutrients. Sheet erosion can be recognized if subsoil or plant roots are exposed. Sheet erosion can have serious effects on the soil.

Rill or finger erosion occurs when furrows make a path for water flow e.g. a stream. Sometimes, the flowing water on the exposed land creates finger-like channels on the land. This kind of erosion leads to gully erosion, which is referred to as the most destructive kind of erosion.

Gully erosion is an advanced form of rill and sheet erosion, if unchecked. The flow of water gets more rapid carrying along with it more layers of soil. It cuts channels deep into the soil until gullies are formed. Gully erosion is destructive to farmland; when it’s too deep, it can render the farmland uncultivable.

Wind erosion is common in type in arid or semi arid desert areas with high wind and low rainfall. This results in sheet erosion and the formation of sand dunes and drifts.

Causes of Soil Erosion:

Leaching: After heavy rainfall, flood water permeates the soil and carries along with it dissolved plant foods. Through this, plant foods at the upper layers of the soil are carried too deep into the soil where roots cannot reach. The nature of soils also determines the rate of leaching. For example, coarse soils are easily leached through more than fine textured soils.

Bush burning: Farmers should desist as much as they can from bush burning because it exposes the soil to erosion agents. It also leads to loss of significant nutrients and organic matter.

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