Not many people know what causes soil erosion or how to prevent it. In this article, I tell you exactly what it is, how to prevent it, and how soil is formed.
Everyone has heard of soil erosion. If you live in the city soil erosion isn’t a big problem. If you live in a small farm town, soil erosion can ruin the farmer’s crops. To understand why soil erosion is such a huge problem one must first look at how soil is formed and what it is compacted of. After that, it is easier to understand the three types of soil erosion-wind, water, and tillage-and how to conserve our soil.
To understand why farmers try to stop the soil from eroding, what soil is compacted of and how it forms will make it easier. The components of soil are constantly changing. Mainly, soil is made up of four things: minerals, plant and animal matter, water, and air. Different combinations of these components determine what kinds of crops grow best on that kind of soil.
The minerals in soil mainly consist of sands, slits, and clays. In the sands and slits the minerals in it consist of quartz and feldspars. The amounts of minerals add a lot of nutrients to the soil such as the following: calcium, phosphorous, and potassium. The clays in the soil are mainly consists of these types of minerals, illite, kaolin, micas, vermiculite, and a lot of other minerals. Soils are called mineral soils if more than 80 percent of the soil particles are minerals.
The plant and animal matter part of soil is not as complex. It is a bunch of decaying plants and animals. There are a lot of living organisms in the soil these organisms are: plant roots, microbes, worms, insects, and small animals that make their burrows in the ground. The fungus that you find on dead plants and animals is decomposing them with the help of the plants and animals living in the soil. Without the decaying matter making rich humus soil-soil rich in nutrients, which is usually black or dark brown-there wouldn’t be any soil and the soil wouldn’t aggregate (come together). If twenty percent of the soil is made up of plant or animal matter, then the soil is called and organic soil. Both water and air fill the soil’s empty spaces.
Soil is formed by all of these components: minerals, plant and animal matter, water, and air. The differences in climate, component material, plants and animals in the region, land surface features, and time determines how long the process of making new soil and what kind of soil will be. Through the process of erosion, soil that took thousands of years to form can be destroyed in one harsh storm.