Soil erosion is the removal of top fertile soil by various physical agencies such as water and air. Thus, soil erosion is caused mainly by water and air. Soil erosion occurs mainly in those areas where the top soil is not covered by vegetation. Due to soil erosion fertility of soil reduces.
Cause of Soil Erosion
The various causes of soil erosion are:
1. Heavy Rainfall
The flow of water during heavy rainfalls removes the top soil of land and cause soil erosion.
2. High Speed Winds
The top soil of land is also removed by the high speed winds. So, winds also cause soil erosion.
Intensive grazing of vegetation by animals on the outskirts of villages and forests remove the protective vegetation cover of the soil. Thus, overgrazing helps in increasing soil erosion.
Slopes decrease the capacity of soil to absorb water and increase the speed of run-off. As water moves along slopes, it gathers high speed and cause large scale soil erosion by cutting and carrying away particles of soil.
5. Human Interference
Large scale cutting of forest trees by human beings for timber and fuel exposes the soil to the direct effects of water and air. Thus, it causes soil erosion.
Prevention of Soil Erosion
We can prevent soil erosion by following methods:
- Reforestation and plantation of grass can prevent soil erosion.
- By controlling grazing of vegetation by animals, soil erosion can be prevented.
- Agricultural practices such as crop rotation, mixed cropping and field fallowing improve soil fertility and thus decrease soil erosion.
- Soil erosion can be prevented by growing trees in a row. These are called wind breaks.
- Soil erosion can be prevented by controlling the flow of water by constructing dams on rivers and lakes.
- In hilly areas soil erosion can be prevented by adopting the technique of step farming.