Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Water Erosion

Author
item Gilley, John

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Citation: Gilley, J.E. Water erosion. In: Daniel Hillel (ed.) Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment. Academic Press. London, England. 2003

Interpretive Summary: Water erosion is caused by the detachment and transport of soil by runoff, melting snow or ice, and irrigation. Excessive erosion could threaten the production of agricultural and forest products. Erosion may also impact water conveyance and storage structures, and contribute to pollution from land surfaces. Water erosion may occur within interrill, rill, gully and stream channel areas. Rainfall characteristics, soil factors, topography, climate and land use are important elements affecting soil erosion. Conservation measures that have been effectively used to reduce soil erosion include contouring, strip cropping, conservation tillage, terraces, buffer strips, and stream channel protection. Erosion potential is substantially reduced when vegetative materials are maintained on the soil surface.

Technical Abstract: Water erosion is caused by the detachment and transport of soil by runoff, melting snow or ice, and irrigation. Excessive erosion could threaten the production of agricultural and forest products. Erosion may also impact water conveyance and storage structures, and contribute to pollution from land surfaces. Water erosion may occur within interrill, rill, gully and stream channel areas. Rainfall characteristics, soil factors, topography, climate and land use are important elements affecting soil erosion. Conservation measures that have been effectively used to reduce soil erosion include contouring, strip cropping, conservation tillage, terraces, buffer strips, and stream channel protection. Erosion potential is substantially reduced when vegetative materials are maintained on the soil surface.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page