Carbon capture potential of agroforestry and trees on farms

Increased use of trees in agriculture can pave the way toward a transformation of the global food system, according to a new study released in May. Scientists have found that even small incremental increases in global tree ...

Decline in North Sea puffins causes concern

The Isle of May, off Scotland's east coast, is home to one of the UK's biggest colonies of seabirds. Some 200,000 birds, from kittiwakes to guillemots can flock to the rocky outcrop at the height of the breeding season.

Revealing coastline dynamics of the Danube Delta

Hundreds of satellite images spanning 30 years have been compiled to show the evolution of the Danube Delta—the second largest river delta in Europe. These findings were presented today at ESA's Living Planet Symposium ...

Why some beaches are getting bigger despite rising sea levels

In a warmer world, rising sea levels could render many coastlines, beaches, and reef islands uninhabitable, or destroy them altogether. The 1.09℃ Earth has warmed since pre-industrial times has already heightened seas by ...

A perennial grass could mitigate climate change in the Midwest

Amid predictions of climate change driving up temperatures and causing more extreme heat in the Midwest, a new study led in part by University of Maryland researchers has found that growing one particular perennial grass ...

Biological crusts affected by drought can still stabilize soils

Biological soil crusts are communities of cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and other living organisms that can bind grains together and reduce the susceptibility of soils to erosion by water or wind. Crusts dominated by cyanobacteria, ...

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Erosion

For morphological image processing operations, see Erosion (morphology) For use of in dermatopathology, see Erosion (dermatopathology)

Erosion is the removal of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) in the natural environment. It usually occurs due to transport by wind, water, or ice; by down-slope creep of soil and other material under the force of gravity; or by living organisms, such as burrowing animals, in the case of bioerosion.

Erosion is distinguished from weathering, which is the process of chemical or physical breakdown of the minerals in the rocks, although the two processes may occur concurrently.

Erosion is a noticeable intrinsic natural process but in many places it is increased by human land use. Poor land use practices include deforestation, overgrazing, unmanaged construction activity and road-building. Land that is used for the production of agricultural crops generally experiences a significant greater rate of erosion than that of land under natural vegetation. This is particularly true if tillage is used, which reduces vegetation cover on the surface of the soil and disturbs both soil structure and plant roots that would otherwise hold the soil in place. However, improved land use practices can limit erosion, using techniques such as terrace-building, conservation tillage practices, and tree planting.

A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example, gravels continuously move downstream in watercourses. Excessive erosion, however, does cause problems, such as receiving water sedimentation, ecosystem damage and outright loss of soil.

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