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ZingPath: Human Impact on Resources

Soil Erosion Investigations

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Human Impact on Resources

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Lesson Focus

Soil Erosion Investigations

Earth & Space Science

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The effects of surface condition, rain, wind, and slope, on soil erosion are explored through experimentation.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define soil erosion as the loss or destruction of soil.
  • Identify rain and wind as elements that cause soil erosion.
  • Explain how soil type and slope have an effect on the rate of erosion.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Each year, a significant amount of our country is washed away due to soil erosion, which may be one of today's most significant environmental problems. Soil erosion results in the loss of agricultural land, reduced crop yields, and other alterations to land structure that can be quite destructive.

In general, soil erosion is the loss or destruction of soil, usually due to transport by rain or wind, although other media exist. The surface slope of soil also impacts the rate of erosion due to gravity or dislocation by burrowing animals or other disturbances. Erosion is a natural process that can be healthy for an ecosystem, but that becomes a problem when human activity causes it to happen at a rate faster than it would in a natural environment. Poor land use practices, such as improperly managed construction activity, overgrazing, deforestation, improper crop rotation, and other agricultural practices lead to significant soil erosion. Natural or other ground cover, such as native vegetation, helps to conserve soil by protecting it from the elements. Other land use improvements and conservation efforts such as strict run-off and dust management practices on construction sites, limiting tillage when planting crops, constructing windbreaks, and planting ground cover, can also help prevent soil erosion.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts None
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary ecology, ecosystem, environment