Soil Erosion

Topics: Soil, Agriculture, Erosion Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: March 8, 2013
A material of geological and biological origin that is changed by chemical, biological, and physical processes, giving it the ability to support plant growth is defined as soil. Soils come in an almost infinite variety of vertical structures and textures. Most soils are hundreds of years old and change very slowly. The work ability of the soil is the ease in which a soil can be cultivated and is determined by the soil texture. There are distinct layers of soil that are not always visible to eye but are made up of different horizons. O horizon/Humus is the decomposing plant matter. A Horizon/Topsoil is the mixed humus and leached mineral soil. E Horizon/ Zone of leaching, there is less humus, minerals resistant to leaching. B Horizon/ Subsoil the accumulation of leached minerals like iron and aluminum oxides. C Horizon/ Weathered parent material which has partially broken down minerals. (Richard T Wright, 2011) In order to support plant growth depends on the soils fertility, the presence and the amount of nutrients present in the soil plays a major role in how fertile the soil is. As water moves through the soil important nutrients can often times be washed from the soil in a process called leaching. Leaching also contributes to pollutants when minerals are removed from the soil enter water ways. The soils ability to grab and hold important nutrient ions until they are absorbed by the roots is just as important as the supply of those initial ions. Soil erosion is the most damaging force against top soil. Soil erosion happens anytime soil is bared and exposed to the elements. Wind and water have a dramatic effect on soil erosion because both events have a tendency to remove the humus particles and carry them away from the soil. The removal can be a slow and gradual process when soil is gradually blown away by the wind, or can be done in an instant when it is washed away by water. (Richard T Wright, 2011) There are major practices that are the main...
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