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Soil Erosion

Mechanics | Water erosion | Wind erosion | Risk management

Back to Soil structure

Soil erosion is simply the gnawing away of soil by water or wind.

It plays an invaluable role in landscape development, but when accelerated (as a result of things like clearing, inappropriate cultivation, earthworks and wildfire) it can severely damage soil, land and community assets.

The mechanisms of erosion are strictly physical, but most of the solutions are to do with biological growth and land use practices. Because erosion is driven by weather events, erosion control on a farm is an exercise in risk management.

Water erosion and wind erosion occur in quite different ways and due to different soil conditions and weather events. Thus assessment and management are considered as quite separate things.

Soil health management plans and whole farm plans are recommended ways of developing ways to minimise the risk of water erosion and wind erosion.

Soil erosion is a significant component of land degradation. Further information on land degradation is available, including a detailed explanation of soil erosion, soil degradation and ecosystem decline. Information Notes on erosion are also available.

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