Soil erosion- human and natural causes. How to prevent it?
what is soil erosion:
The removal of soil by wind, water and air is called soil erosion. Large masses of land may be lost due to soil erosion. Sometimes huge quantity of soil may fall from hill sides and this is called landslides.
The soil erosion is increased by human activities and this is called as Accelerated Soil erosion .
Causes of Soil erosion
The various human activities that cause the soil erosion are
a) The removal of hedges in order to enlarge the fields
b) Deforestation.(chopping down of trees from the forests)
c) The exposure of earth through agriculture ( the land is tilled and a sudden rain or flood may move large quantity of soil from the field )
d) The exposure of bare earth by overgrazing( removal of grass by cattle can lead to soil erosion)
Soil erosion can also take place by burning fires in the forest. This isn’t always caused by humans: it could be caused naturally by such like lightning.
There are no positive effects because of soil erosion. It can only damage the environment which in turn affects the human beings adversely.
Agricultural practices that lead to soil erosion
1. The tillage of any kind exposes the land to effects of wind and precipitation. The naked soil can easily move compared to the tightly packed land.
2. Overgrazing by livestock is a major factor that can expose the land to wind and water flow carrying away the top soil.
3. Making Dams can cause soil erosion: Water flowing down the dams can wash away the soil in the area. To make irrigation canals large quantity of soil is removed.
Any activity that removes the natural vegetation and leaves the soil bare must be analyzed. Proper management is the best.
Methods to prevent soil erosion
1. The introduction of plants is used for bringing down the soil erosion. The plant roots hold the soil together preventing it from being washed away.
2. Making hedges and ridges separating the lands can prevent soil erosion
3. Erosion control blankets made from natural fibres can reduce soil erosion
4. Embankments and shorelines are instantly protected from the destructive forces of water and wind and are secured long term.
5. Landscape gardening and horticulture are very effective in preventing soil erosion
6. Coir yarn and coir ropes are used to tie shrubs and trees and coir fabric can provide protection to the plants from falling. This will protect the plants and soil
7. Polythene covers can be used to cover loose soil to be washed away due to rain.