Erosional Hotspot - Himalayan Foothills

Topics: Soil, Erosion, Geomorphology Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: March 1, 2007
Himalayan Foothills

The famous Himalayan Mountains are gifted with shining glaciers and continuous rivers, expressing beauty and elegance. Although the tops of these mountains are glamorous and dazzling, the foothills of these beautiful mountains are a critical erosional hotspot on earth. The Himalayan Foothills are found around the lower regions of the Himalayan Mountains, stretching from the west of Pakistan to the east of Namche Barwa (crossing six nations).

There are many causes for the Himalayan foothills to become an erosional hotspot. One big contributor towards the soil degradation in the area are humans. People have been living in the Himalayas for thousands of years. As the years go by, people move around the area, destroying the natural flora of the land. Some of these lands might originally be rich in biodiversity, yet as these lands are being populated by more people, the productive vegetation is destroyed. Also, as the global demand for natural resources increase, people go to the Himalayan Foothills to search for these rich resources, therefore destroying the vegetation along the way.

The increasing population in this hotspot has made the land become deforested for cultivation and land use by extensive logging. Logging in the steep regions of the Himalayan foothills ultimately leads to major erosion of the land. When trees are cut off, the land becomes bare and unprotected. This makes the earth vulnerable towards wind, water, or glaciers to erode the soil and earth. Another way of deforesting the land is by the use of fire. When people burn down forests, the fire may be uncontrollable, and it will destroy even more natural vegetation. This also encourages erosion of the land, because there is no vegetation cover to protect the earth.

Unsuitable agricultural practices and over-cultivation is another cause for the Himalayan foothills to become vulnerable to erosion. As the people that farm in the foothills use the same methods to farm...

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