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Ever heard the term “erosion” in a Geography class or from someone else, but you had no idea what it meant? Learn about erosion, its causes, and some erosion facts for kids. Let’s begin.

What is Erosion?

Erosion is the geological process wherein earthen materials are eroded and transferred by natural forces like wind and water.

Why does Erosion occur?

The majority of the energy that causes erosion originates from the Sun. When the Sun generates energy, it causes things to change, such as ice melting or water evaporating, which in turn creates movement.

Additionally, the water cycle produces erosion. When water evaporates and forms clouds that result in precipitation, soil can be displaced and rocks can be relocated.

Air and wind can also cause erosion. Wind and air are responsible for the movement of soil and dirt. This repositioning of rocks and dirt is an aspect of erosion caused by the motion.

Types of Erosion

There are several forms of erosion. The following are some of the most prevalent forms of erosion:

Water Erosion

On Earth, liquid water is the primary agent of erosion. Ocean, river, rain, floods, lakes, etc.  transport away soil and sand particles and wash the sediment away gradually.

Physical Erosion

Physical erosion is the process through which the physical qualities of rocks change, such as becoming smaller or smoother. The sea stacks in New Brunswick, Canada, are the consequence of the physical erosion of a whole peninsula.

Wind Erosion

Wind erosion is the movement of rock and soil particles by the wind. This type of erosion occurs less frequently than other types because powerful winds are required to shift rocks and dirt.

Small fragments of rock or dirt can be transported by the wind, although they typically do not go very far.

Desert regions are especially prone to wind erosion because the wind transports sand across the region. Because the sand is pushed across the Atlantic Ocean, areas such as the Sahara Desert are notorious for wind erosion.

Wind erosion is a characteristic of the Dust Bowl. When the Dust Bowl occurs, devastation to farmers and towns can be severe. The dust that flows with the Dust Bowl can cause respiratory difficulties and crop loss for farmers.

Organism Erosion

Additionally, animals, insects, and worms can induce erosion. Worms, for example, assist to decompose the soil, making it simpler for water to take the material away.

Thermal Erosion

The sun may cause rocks to fracture and break if the weather changes and becomes particularly hot. 

Gravitational Erosion

Gravity erosion occurs when Earth elements such as soil, mud, and rock are dragged down a slope or mountain. Landslides are one type of gravitational erosion. Landslides result in the rapid flow of rock, soil, and dirt down a mountain or piece of land. This can result in the uprooting of trees and other plant life.

Erosion Facts for Kids

1. The wind is a strong force. It can transport vast quantities of dust across great distances. During the winter and spring of 2004, winds carried 45 million tons of dust from the Bodele Depression in northern Chad’s desert across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.

2. In actuality, the sun is an eroding agent! When rocks are heated, they expand. Sometimes, expanding rocks might fracture and crumble away.

3. Wind energy may cause considerable economic and environmental harm by relocating dirt from one site to another.

4. Suspension, saltation and creep are the three basic types of wind erosion.

5. Wind erosion may transform sand dunes into landforms.

6. Gravity may induce ice erosion to produce huge glacier fragments, eroding a region over an extended period of time.

Can Humans Contribute to Erosion?

People can contribute to erosion in a variety of ways. When people farm or cut down trees, topsoil can deteriorate.

Timbering is the practice of cutting down all trees. When all of the trees are destroyed, the soil is no longer held in place, as they helped to do so.

How Does Erosion Cause Harm?

Erosion may be extremely hazardous to humans and animals. When soil erodes, it might make it impossible for farmers to cultivate their food. If there is only a thin layer of soil or dirt, farmers will be unable to cultivate crops since plants require deep soil and dirt.

When erosion occurs near homes or structures, homes and buildings can deteriorate. When rock and soil are shifted around structures and houses, the structures are at risk of collapsing because the rock and dirt provide support.

How Do We Prevent Erosion?

People can reduce erosion by planting trees and relocating animals so that grasslands can regrow in their former locations. When cutting down grasses or trees, it is necessary to replant in order to preserve the soil.

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