What is Soil Erosion? Definition, Causes, Effects and Prevention

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What is Soil Erosion Definition, Causes, Effects and Prevention

Soil is a major element in the agricultural process. Every crop, fruit, or vegetable is produced from soil. Thus, it is important to maintain the soil quality. The agricultural sector faces a major challenge of soil erosion. This article will provide details on Erosion, its causes, its effects and some preventive measures to stop erosion. Basically, soil erosion is a gradual process in which the uppermost layer gets carried away due to natural disasters like water running, rain, deforestation, etc. Stay tuned and continue further to collect details on what is soil erosion!

Also Read: What are 10 Ways to Reduce Pollution?


Soil is regarded as the topmost layer of the earth which is considered the fertile layer for the production of food crops, fruits, and vegetables. Apart from this, various organisms also survive on the topmost layer i.e. soil. Without soil, life would be difficult for all living organisms.

Soil degradation is one of the major challenges as it depletes the quality and fertility of the soil. Soil erosion is one such problem that hampers the agricultural process.

Also Read: Branches of Soil Science: Definition and Examples 

What is Soil Erosion?

Source: Learning Junction

Soil erosion is defined as the process by which the uppermost layer of soil gets displaced, loosened, or washed away through sources like water and wind. It is also carried away by human activities such as agriculture or deforestation.

It is a major issue as it degrades its fertility. The eroded top layer of soil travels and is transported by wind or water into the water bodies and could also pollute the water. Erosion is a continuous process and it could occur slowly or at an alarming rate.

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What is Soil Erosion?
Source: ResearchGate

Mentioned below are the types of erosion:

  • Splash erosion
  • Sheet erosion
  • Rill erosion
  • Gully erosion

Now, let us dive in to acquire more information about Soil erosion!


There are many causes of erosion and it could be physical, chemical, or biological activities. Soil erosion is the leading cause of degradation and it affects 87% of the area concerned.

Source: Help Me Out

Listed below are the major causes of Erosion:

  • High Intensity of Rainfall or Flooding takes away the upper layer of soil.
  • Agricultural practices.
  • Overgrazing of animals on the farm.
  • Strong Wind Blows
  • Construction is also a major cause of erosion because trees and grass are cleared for the purpose of construction.
  • Logging and Mining
  • Deforestation
  • Rivers and Streams also carry away the fertile soil.

Also Read: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2023

Effects of Soil Erosion

Here are the major effects oferosion:

  • Soil erosion leads to the loss of arable land, depletes productivity and eventually leads to low productivity.
  • The soil article of the eroded soil can mix in air and pollute the air. Some of the chemicals or pesticides in soil particle when inhaled leads to respiratory disorders.
  • Clogging of waterways leads to water pollution. The sediments of soil in the water bodies can also lead to flood.
  • Destruction of Infrastructure and Desertification are also the main effects. 

Also Read: World Environment Day: Theme, History, Importance

How to Prevent Soil Erosion?

Erosion is a critical issue that needs to be addressed and prevented. Following are some preventing measures for soil erosion:

  • Afforestation
  • Terrace Farming
  • Crop Rotation
  • Shelterbelts
  • Building Dams
  • Mulch Matting

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What is soil erosion?

It is a continuous gradual process in which the top layer of the soil gets lost due to physical, chemical and biological activity degrading the soil fertility.

What are the 4 main causes of soil erosion?

The 4 main causes are flood, rain, wind, deforestation, etc.

What is the impact of soil pollution?

Soil erosion depletes the fertility of the soil, leads to water clogging, causes air pollution, desertification, etc. 

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