Soil Erosion Loss and Prevention

As we learned today in class soil erosion contributes a lot of damage to the environment each year, over $38bilion worth of damage or loss.  There are two different causes that occur that contribute to the loss of soil each year.  One being human induced and the other occurring naturally in nature.  Geologic erosion is the natural weathering of parent material that has occurred over geologic time.  There is also Accelerated Anthropogenic erosion which is caused by humans contribution to erosion.  Certain things like construction and deforestation of forest, also improper forms of farming can increasingly contribute to soil loss.  Anytime the soil is bare and not covered by vegetation, soil erosion can occur in times of rain.

         During construction of buildings proper methods of preventing soil erosion should be more harshly enforced.  Silt fences need to be properly installed in order to be effective in preventing much soil to be lost during construction.  Any time, during construction, methods should be in place to prevent rain drop impact.  Not only does construction contribute but improper farming methods can prove to take a hefty toll on the soil.  Each year we loose about 37,000 square miles of crop land due to soil erosion.

   Ways in preventing these types of erosion can be solved just by using ground cover.  When farmers turn their crop over for the winter they should plant a cover crop to protect the bare surface from losing soil and also help mend the soil by fixating nitrogen in some cases.  Also mulch could be useful in covering the bare soil.  Mulch can be implemented in walkways of small gardens or rows of large commercial monocrops.  This will further prevent erosion and also break down over time to help mend the soil.

    A website I found mentioned laying matting down on the surface of the soil.  Matting  is available in wood fibres which make it environmentally friendly and biodegradable.  Similar to mulch and it also allows plants to grow and take root.  If you are working with a small backyard garden then it might be necessary to build retaining walls for your raised garden beds.  This will prevent soil loss in your beds and sustain their health.  This wall also helps in keeping water in the bed in order to soak the soil, necessary for plants to take up water in their roots.  If you must, you could always plant grass in which case you would have to worry about maintaing depending upon the location of the grass.  But, as mentioned in class, grass completely covers the soil and prevents any soil erosion from occurring.

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One Response to Soil Erosion Loss and Prevention

  1. amynoelsmith says:

    See, this is exactly why we need to focus more on soil erosion. It’s such a huge problem. Without soil we won’t have anything: no food, no water and nothing to live on.

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