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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Degradation As a Result of Water Erosion

Author
item Norton, Lloyd

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The loss of topsoil is often thought of as the only ramification of soil erosion by water. However, there are other important degradational aspects of the interaction of water and soil at the very earth surface. Low electrolyte rain water when impinged upon either bare or covered soil tends to react chemically causing dispersion of clays. This phenomena leads to a lowering of the infiltration capacity of the soil to the extent that runoff will occur and thus transporting the dispersed clays, soil particles, pesticides and nutrients off-site. This leads to considerable off-site effects such as siltation of waterways and contamination of waterbodies with chemicals as well as the on-site degradation and loss of productivity. This processes is particularly problematic on marginal soils where low fertility subsoils are exposed having lesser productivity and increased runoff and erosion potential. The objective of this paper is to summarize the various soil degradational processes occurring due to water erosion and discuss various ways that the knowledge of these processes can be used to develop low cost effective methods to control erosion thereby preventing the soil degradation.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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