Soil Erosion

Overview
Soil erosion is the movement and transportation of soil by various natural processes. Erosion is responsible for the loss of an average of 12 tons per acre of agricultural soils per year. The soil that is most affected by erosion is the topsoil layer. Soil erosion is accelerated by a sloped landscape, the removal of vegetation to create land space, soil tillage for agriculture, and drought. Wind and water play a monumental role in soil erosion. On agricultural land, erosion causes loss of nutrient rich topsoil, which results in an increase d need for fertilizer being added back to soils. This can lead to further problems as fertilizer runoff leads to water contamination, which affects the habitats of area livestock and wildlife. Water erosion is the focus of our lab today. Erosion from water removes topsoil from agricultural land and can cause runoff of nutrients to nearby water supplies, jeopardizing surrounding wildlife habitats.

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Learning Objectives

• Students will construct an explanation based on scientific evidence for how the uneven distributions of groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
• Students will analyze and interpret data to provide evidence of the effects of soil erosion.
• Students will plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth’s materials and surface processes.