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Soil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil; it is a form of soil degradation. This natural process is caused by the dynamic activity of erosive agents, that is, water, ice (glaciers), snow, air (wind), plants, animals, and humans.
Deforestation. Deforestation is a major cause of soil erosion, perhaps the main cause. Trees and their roots provide the soil with an anchor, as well as shelter from the wind and rain. When forests are wiped out, the land becomes exposed, leaving it vulnerable to being washed or blown away by elements.
Agricultural practices can have a very significant impact on erosion rates. … Human activities such as repeatedly walking or biking the same trails or areas can also contribute to erosion slowly over time. Forest fires also contribute to soil erosion, as vegetation previously holding the soil in place is often destroyed.
Suspended sediment decreases the penetration of light into the water. This affects fish feeding and schooling practices, and can lead to reduced survival. Suspended sediment in high concentrations irritates the gills of fish, and can cause death.
‘During erosion, the weathered rocks are carried from one place to another by wind, water, or gravity. … Waves, for instance, can cause changes in landforms by weathering the surrounding rocks and forming a beach by eroding the debris and depositing it on the shore.
Fire increases erosion in the short term, but predicting the amount of post-fire erosion depends on a complex combination of site conditions, fire characteristics, and rainfall patterns. Surface erosion actually begins while the fire is still burning, as soil and rock material are exposed.
Gravity can cause erosion and deposition. Gravity makes water and ice move. It also causes rock, soil, snow, or other material to move downhill in a process called mass movement.
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