Authored by: Dennis C. Flanagan

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Erosion is a natural process and is a critical factor in soil formation from rock parent material. However, once productive agricultural soils have been formed over periods of thousands or millions of years, erosion of the soil material is then usually very low or negligible because of the impacts of protective natural plant and residue cover. Human activities are responsible for greatly accelerating erosion rates, usually by reducing or eliminating plant and residue cover. This exposes the soil to wind and water erosive forces, weakening the soil cohesive forces by tillage disturbance, and increasing the erosive agents, particularly by activities that increase surface runoff.

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