What is soil erosion and its control measures?

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The most common causes of soil erosion are wind, water runoff, and gravitational pull. Each has its control methods, resulting in different degrees of soil erosion. Here are some examples of soil erosion control methods:

Water runoff

In areas of high stormwater runoff, controlling water runoff diverts excess water to other uses. This technique can be used around buildings and areas prone to runoff damage. The use of berms is one of the most common and practical solutions to soil erosion problems. Building a berm requires careful planning, and following a comprehensive guide is essential.

It is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of various soil erosion control measures before deciding on the most effective one. For example, tillage operations do not always prevent surface channel erosion, deteriorating water quality, and increasing stream sediment load. In addition, large water masses can initiate tunneling, which is the biggest threat to sodic soils. Water runoff is an important control measure in addressing soil erosion in agricultural areas, but it must be done carefully and with care.

There are many methods for controlling water runoff on construction sites, and standard techniques include linear filter systems, mesh baskets, barrier systems, mulch, turf, and mats. While the choices may be overwhelming, it is essential to understand which measures will work best for your particular project and location. For areas with established vegetation, compost filter socks are an excellent option.

Wind erosion

The first way to prevent wind erosion is to reduce wind velocity at the soil surface. It can be accomplished by putting up windbreaks or using cover crops to keep the soil from drying. Other effective methods include increasing the soil’s surface roughness or crop residue. Emergency tillage can also help. These methods will reduce wind erosion in a variety of locations.

There are many other ways to control wind erosion and prevent its consequences. A cover crop of tall vegetation can protect the soil particles from wind erosion. Adding crop residues to your land at the right angles can reduce wind erosion while preserving soil nutrients. Drill seeding cover crops can help minimize wind erosion as their canopy protects soil from the wind. In addition to covering the soil with vegetation, the cover crop can provide wildlife habitat.

Rill erosion

If rill erosion is not controlled, farmland results can be disastrous. In addition to reducing productivity and decreasing property value, rills can become gullies. To prevent gully erosion, rills must be filled in. Often, rills are only a few feet wide and are not deep enough to be crossed by farm equipment. Moreover, rills can branch into wider gullies, disrupting traffic in the paddock.

When runoff water becomes concentrated, rill erosion occurs. It forms small rivulets in the soil, carrying sediment down the slopes. The rills too deep to be easily driven over become gully erosion. 

To reduce rill erosion, farmers can plant cover crops. For example, interseeding cover crops after harvest or silage corn after harvest can help to prevent rill erosion. This technique has many benefits, but it does not eliminate the problem. A farmer may not know the control measures necessary to prevent erosion.

Gravitational pull

The main climatic factor affecting soil erosion by water is rainfall. In arid and semi-arid regions, heavy rainfalls can easily erode the soil. Wind erosion is a significant problem during periods of drought. Wind erosion is especially damaging to dry soil, which makes it more erodible. The temperature range and average temperature of a given area also affect soil erosion. The difference between dry and wet soil will determine the level of erosion.

Soil particle size is closely related to the geology of the rock. Hard rocks wear down slowly compared to soft ones. However, soft sandstone keeps changing as it erodes. These differences can be used to control the rate of soil erosion. However, there is a limit to how much erosion a particular type of rock can withstand. For these reasons, soil erosion control is essential.

Temporary erosion control measures

In addition to the use of permanent measures, construction projects often require the use of temporary erosion control measures. These techniques can protect inlets of the stormwater conveyance system, limit gully formation, and capture sediment. Erosion control measures must be incorporated into the overall construction plan to reduce the risk of erosion and the need for unplanned restoration. Temporary measures for erosion control in Australia and sediment control may include implementing an erosion control blanket or temporary seeding. Construction projects should also include extra inspection and clean-up activities, especially during winter.
A permanent erosion control measure will remain in place after construction, while a temporary measure will only last for a short time. It will stabilize the disturbed soil and prevent surface erosion. Once permanent measures are installed, these practices will protect the soil from future erosion and improve stormwater quality.

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