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Describe the three major causes of soil erosion - Essay Example

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Major Causes of Erosion Date Abstract The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: (1) to identify the three major causes of erosion; and (2) to describe the three major causes of erosion. Major Causes of Erosion Introduction Horsfield (2007) defines soil erosion as the process wherein soil is carried away by water or wind and is deposited to other areas, particularly at the bottom of the ocean (p…
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Describe the three major causes of soil erosion
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Download file to see previous pages The formation of a 1 centimeter soil can take up to 400 years and the production of a sufficient depth of farming might take 3,000-12,000 years (Edwards, 2005, p. 36). Soils are easily and increasingly eroded but may take years to form, leading to ruining of land resources. Soil erosion rapidly occurs in mismanaged lands, lands where protective vegetation is removed, places with rapid population growth, steep lands, and places with extreme climatic conditions or rainfall is seasonal, downpour, and unreliable (Edwards, 2005, p. 36). In line with the rapid occurrence of soil erosion are major causes of soil erosion which the essay will discuss in detail. This includes overcultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation. Soil erosion is a natural process but most of the human interventions contribute to the increased incidences of soil erosion. The potential harm to the ecological balance, biological species, and human harm is insurmountable; thus, this paper will discuss in addition the cause, promoting factors, effect, and examples of overcultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation observed within the society. ...
In addition, overcultivation partly occurs due to introduction and use of mechanized machinery such as tractors and discs ploughs and the introduction of irrigation schemes (Park, 2001, p. 438). Overcultivation is one of the major causes of soil erosion. The constant use of land for crop production removes the protective soil covering and crops do not have the capacity to strongly hold the soil, which increase the risks of soil erosion. Likewise, the use of tractors and disc ploughs destroy native perennial vegetation, encourage soil degradation, and remove protective soil cover (Park, 2001, p. 438). Due to the removal of soil covering, topsoil is exposed to wind erosion and blown away, making the soil dry and infertile. Water irrigation is the proposed solution for dry lands but often increases soil salinity and water logging which may also increase the likelihood of erosion if left abandoned (Park, 2001, p. 438). Thus, it can be inferred that when there is overcultivation, the possibility of soil erosion is likewise to occur. Overgrazing Overgrazing is the most widespread cause of soil erosion and occurs when there are too many animals for the amount of grass available (Edwards, 2005, p. 36; Waugh, 2003, p. 254). Overgrazing is common among traditional farmers who rely heavily on grazing animals. Overgrazing can be attributed to a variety of factors such as status symbol, food security, food supply, rise of export agriculture, and veterinary care (Park, 2001, p. 438). Overgrazing makes the soil condition worse. Palatable plants are replaced by unpalatable plants, pressure increases on the less-grazed pasture, bare ground, sand sheets and dunes increases which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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