Agricultural Science

Soil Erosion: Types of Soil Erosion

len Alfred Ajibola - 12th February, 2019 @ 03:25 AM

Topics in Agricultural Science

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Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

A female chicken less than one year old is referred to as a _____.

  • A. Poult
  • B. Pullet
  • C. Poulta
  • D. Chicken
  • E. Hen
  • F. Fowl

Small plants that grow via vegetative propagation from the parent plants are called _____.

  • A. Child Plants
  • B. Crop Plants
  • C. Plant Crops
  • D. Croplets
  • E. Plantlets
  • F. Progeny

The female part of the flower comprising the stigma, style and ovary is the _____.

  • A. Ovule
  • B. Androecium
  • C. Stamen
  • D. Petal
  • E. Sepal
  • F. Pistil

Which of the following food is best preserved through pasteurization?

  • A. Rice
  • B. Beans
  • C. Coconut
  • D. Meat
  • E. Milk
  • F. Tomatoes

The total number of parasites that are present in a host organism is termed  _____.

  • A. Parasite
  • B. Parasite Count
  • C. Parasite Number
  • D. Parasite Load
  • E. Parasite Value
  • F. Parasite Figure

All plants are crops.


What is Soil?

Soil is the top layer of the earth's lithosphere. (Earth's Lithosphere is the solid part of the earth). The topsoil is a home to a variety of living organisms including bacteria and fungi. It’s also the layer on which farming activities occur.

It’s important we protect it against soil erosion because this will adversely affect the farmers and everything living on it.

According to reports, the formation of soil take millions of years (at a rate of 1cm of growth per 250 years).

Also, soil is non-renewable and once lost, it’s gone forever.

Please read on the Roles of Government in Agricuture here.


Meaning of Soil Erosion

Soil erosion is a process through which the topsoil is removed or moved from one point to another by agents like wind, water, man and animals.

Soil erosion occurs naturally (wind and water) and may also be facilitated by living organisms.

Soil erosion is more likely to occur on a sloppy land and land with no vegetation cover. When this occurs, the nutrient rich layer of the topsoil is washed away; and this ultimately results in fewer plants growing on such eroded soil.

Please read on Agricutural Land and its Uses here.


Types of Soil Erosion

Below are the common types of erosion

  1. Water Erosion: It is caused by rainfall and flooding on the topsoil. As a result of water erosion, some layers of the topsoil are lost.

  2. Sheet Erosion: When an entire surface of land becomes eroded at a uniform (equal) level, such is referred to as sheet erosion.

    Len Academy Image Credit: Slide Player

  3. Wind Erosion: It results from the actions of wind on a bare land. Wind erosion is often seen in deserts. Overgrazing and lack of vegetation cover will also enhance wind erosion on topsoil. Please read on Desert and Swamp Forests here.

  4. Rill Erosion: Also called channel erosion, rill erosion occurs on a steep land or one that is gently sloped (with irregularities along its path). As a result of these irregularities, water runs through its path, resulting to the washing away of topsoil along such path. This result in the formation of channels or miniature dongas on such land.

    Len Academy Image Credit: ResearchGate

  5. Gully Erosion: They usually occur close to the bottom of a sloppy land with the resultant removal of the topsoil (from the formation of a concentrated runoff that has been caused by water or rainfall).

    On a hilly land, a gully is likely to be formed when water running downhill creates a channel deep into the soil. As a result, a gully head may be formed at the lower end of the channel as it gently make its way back uphill. While doing this, the gully made on the hill deepens and widens.

    Len Academy

    Image Credit: ScienceDirect

You can attempt Len Academy Examination Questions for Agric Science, JSSI 2nd Term here.


Causes of Soil Erosion

  1. Water: Whenever there is a heavy rainfall, the force at which the water drops may cause the breaking of the top soil and a resultant penetration of water into it. This can result in the exposure of the soil’s contents.
    Subsequently, the runoff water will flush the topmost nutrients of the soil down its path depositing them down the riverbed.

  2. Wind: A strong wind will bring about the loss of the topsoil especially on soils whose structure had already been loosened up by erosion.
    The chances of wind erosion are further enhanced when the land is bare (that is, not covered with plants or vegetation).
    Wind erosion is common in the desert and land with sandy soil. Sandy soil is most susceptible to wind erosion due to its porous soil structure.

  3. Lack of crop rotation: Crop rotation is a system of farming whereby different type of crops are grown on the same piece of land over a long period of time.
    The continuous planting of one type of crop on a piece of farmland will result in the loss of nutrients on the soil of such farmlands; and as a result, the soil will not be able to support the growth of plants; leading to water and wind erosion.

  4. Inappropriate planting techniques: When a land is constantly ploughed, the soil eventually become exposed to soil erosion.
    Please read on Agricutural Tools and their Uses here.

  5. Sloppiness of the land: The degree of sloppiness of a land will determine the level of soil erosion; for instance, a hilly slopped land is more likely to be eroded from runoff water as it moves down the slope.

  6. Lack of vegetation Cover: Cover crops and plants help to maintain the soil structure by protecting the topsoil, thus reducing soil erosion. They also protect the soil from water and wind erosion.

  7. Overgrazing: Overgrazing is said to occur when cattle, sheep and goats excessively feed on the plants present on a piece of land.
    Overgrazing removes the vegetation cover from the top soil, subsequently exposing the top soil to water and wind erosion.
    Please read on the methods of Plant Propagation here.

  8. Deforestation: Deforestation occurs when large forest trees are cut down in a large scale.
    The presence of forest trees on a farmland serves as protection from wind (termed wind breaks). Also, the roots of these trees firmly hold the soil together thus preventing it from been lost to wind erosion.
    Deforestation exposes the top soil to water and wind erosion.
    Please read on Tropical Rainforest and Savanna here.


Solutions to soil Erosion

The prevention of soil erosion is called conservation of soil. Soil conservation can be achieved via the following ways:

  1. Educate farmers on soil erosion.
    Please read on Meaning, Causes, Consequences and Solutions to Illiteracy here.

  2. Avoid overgrazing on farmlands.

  3. Encourage planting of trees (acting as windbreaks) or Afforestation.
    You can check out various Agricutural Terms and Meanings here.

  4. Land tillage should be carefully done. It should also be reduced to its barest minimum.

  5. Practice of strip cropping (that is, leaving grass strips between ploughed lands).

  6. Implement crop rotation on farmlands.
    Please read on the Differences between a Plant and a Crop here.

  7. Use of runoff pipes and specialized chutes to direct excess water away from farmlands.

  8. Practice of terrace farming. It can be implemented in hilly areas by cutting steps on the slope of the hills.

  9. Building of dams to prevent flood.

  10. Planting cover crops on bare soil to act as shelterbelts.

  11. Embankments created along the banks of the river can protect fields from the floods.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Although plants neither see nor hear, they can recognize their siblings and even give them preferential treatments 🤔

Squirrels do plant more 🌲 trees 🌲 (through their actions) than an average human in their lifetime. They often hide their acorns and nuts underground and forget about them 😁

🐄 Cows 🐄 have got the ability to walk up stairs, but not down stairs

A group of cows 🐄 🐄 🐄  is called a team, drove or herd.

People just prefer to call them herd

NOTABLE POINTS IN Agricultural Science

There are about 630 different kinds of carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients by consuming small animals, especially insects.

Carnivorous plants are also referred to as insectivorous plants.

Some example of carnivorous plants include sundew and Venus flytrap.

Please read more on Carnivorous Plants here