Soil erosion is considered to be natural process, but this takes places over decades. However, what is worrying is the accelerated soil erosion that is taking place practically all over the world leading to degradation of soil and desertification in some places. This soil erosion is caused due to increased human activity and is a widespread problem all over the world.
The processes of soil erosion take place in two ways. One is due to rainwater and the other is due to flow traction. In this manner soil is either carried as airborne particles in the air or due to water runoff. In fact, scientists believe that water runoff causes severe soil erosion and removes the topsoil, which is the fertile part of the soil, and thereby reduces the productivity of the soil. This is especially true in places where the soil is shallow and it can lead to permanent loss of farmlands. In places where the depth of the soil is deep, soil erosion is not very noticeable, but it still has a damaging effect on the land.
In places which have long periods of dry spells followed by heavy rains, soil erosion can be extreme. So also in mountainous regions where trees are felled and there is nothing to bind the soil to the ground. However, in places where the rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, soil erosion is not so bad.
Soil formation takes years, if not decades. However, the processes of soil erosion are much faster than the soil formation. So, soil is replaced naturally. And, it is this fact that has become worrying. Also, the eroded soil causes damage by blocking roads or channels for drainage, and sometimes even inundating buildings. Therefore, measures have to taken to slow the process of soil erosion by educating people to use better farming techniques, avoiding overgrazing, preventing felling of trees and forest fires, and slowing down construction activities in virgin lands.
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