The Human Impact on Physical Weathering Sediment Displacement and Erosion

Claim

As humans continue to manipulate the Earth's landscape, whether purposefully or not, the rate of erosion greatly accelerates as a result of our actions. Consequences also include soil loss, loss of habitats, and diminished water quality.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15993162/ns/us_news-environment/t/humans-said-have-huge-impact-erosion/#.WHTyWcPyvnA

Rationale

As humans continue to change their physical environment, they may unknowingly be speeding up natural processes. According to Bruce Wilkinson of Syracuse University, humans accelerate the rate of erosion by 10 to 15 time the normal rate, and the current amount of rock an soil moved over the Earth by humans could fill the Grand Canyon in 50 years. Sediment transportation leads to increased scour (the process of erosion when sediment is removed from beds), erosion, and build-up, which in turn impacts ecosystems, and contaminates bodies of water. Scour can cause structural failure and leads to a faster flow of water, which increases erosion as more sediment can be carried away at a faster pace.

http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/hydrology/sediment-transport-deposition/#std6c

Solution

In order to prevent of lessen the impact humans have on soil erosion and its consequences, there are several things that can be done. One solution is water control, which suggests using run-off chutes to redirect the water away from sensitive areas. This would help to reduce the amount of water flowing over loose soil that would be easily impacted by erosion. As humans manipulate the Earth to fulfill our needs, we leave the soil and environment in a more weakened state than we found it in. If we were to utilize things like careful tilling (being easier on the soil when we would normally break it up), crop rotation (over-using the land leads to depleted nutrients and weaker soil, rotating crops would give it time to restore itself), and better structure in agriculture (utilizing structures like terraces would give plants and soil more support, and reduce the likelihood that soil would loosen and erode), we could lessen our impact. It is naive to believe that humans would stop doing something entirely solely to help the environment, but it would not be very difficult just to alter certain practices, in order to preserve our Earth.

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-soil-erosion.php

Credits:

Created with images by SoilScience.info - "Erosion from agricultural fields (2)" • SoilScience.info - "Beach Erosion at the Outer Banks of North Carolina (37)" • kinnla - "Terraces"

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