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Erosion

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**Types of Erosion:**
– Rainfall and surface runoff:
– Splash erosion ejects soil particles due to raindrop impact.
– Sheet erosion involves transport of soil particles by overland flow.
– Rill erosion develops small, concentrated flow paths on hillslopes.
– Gully erosion occurs when runoff water rapidly flows in narrow channels.
– Rivers and streams:
– Valley stream erosion deepens and extends valleys with water flow.
– Stream erosion can be vertical or lateral depending on the stage.
– Bank erosion wears away river banks, distinct from scour on the bed.
– Thermal erosion weakens permafrost due to moving water.
– Coastal erosion:
– Coastal erosion is caused by the sea, waves, and wind abrasion.
– Glacial processes like plucking and abrasion contribute to coastal erosion.
– Coastal erosion leads to the formation of sea cliffs and natural arches.
– Wind erosion:
– Wind erosion is a significant cause of land degradation.
– Intensive agriculture and deforestation contribute to wind erosion.
– Wind erosion leads to loss of topsoil and soil fertility.
– Human impact:
– Human activities have accelerated soil erosion rates globally.
– Intensive farming practices can cause erosion at alarming rates.
– Erosion leads to decreased agricultural productivity and ecological collapse.

**Coastal Erosion:**
– Hydraulic action occurs when air in a joint is compressed by a wave, cracking it.
– Wave pounding breaks pieces off cliffs or rocks due to wave energy.
– Abrasion by waves launches sea load at cliffs, causing rapid erosion.
– Corrosion dissolves rock by carbonic acid in seawater, affecting limestone cliffs.
– Attrition wears down particles carried by waves, leading to shingle and sand formation.

**Glacial Erosion:**
– Glaciers erode through processes like abrasion, plucking, and ice thrusting.
– Glacial erosion controls the maximum height of mountains globally.
– Glacial buzzsaw refers to glaciers limiting mountain range heights through erosion.
– Glaciers can both erode mountains and protect them from erosion.
– Glacial erosion leaves behind landforms like moraines and drumlins.

**Wind Erosion:**
– Wind erosion is a major geomorphological force in arid regions.
– Aeolian processes sculpt landscapes, especially in semi-arid areas.
– Wind erosion contributes to land degradation in various regions.
– Wind erosion can create unique rock formations like Árbol de Piedra in Bolivia.
– Arid and semi-arid regions are particularly susceptible to wind erosion.

**Human Impact and Soil Erosion:**
– Human land development contributes to erosion and sediment transport, worsening food insecurity.
– Soil erosion exceeding soil formation rates leads to soil destruction.
– Human activities have accelerated global erosion rates by 10-40 times, causing significant environmental issues.
– On-site impacts of excessive erosion include decreased agricultural productivity and ecological collapse.
– Water and wind erosion account for about 84% of global degraded land, leading to desertification and other environmental problems.

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