Water Erosion: Types, Causes, Effects, and Prevention 


Water erosion is one of the many factors that destroy the productivity of agricultural land, ultimately making it less suitable for agriculture. Depending on the cause and level, there are different types of water erosion. To prevent any type of water erosion and harmful effects, the farmer must know what each of these types means and how to treat the soil to ensure that there are no problems related to water.
Fortunately, modern agriculture offers many ways to help farmers monitor the health of their land. These include the monitoring of water and rainfall, allowing farmers to identify the threat of water damage to the soil and take the necessary measures in time.

What is water erosion? 

Water erosion is the removal of the top layer of soil from water through irrigation, rainfall, snowmelt, runoff and poor water management. Finally, rain is the main cause of this problem. Flowing water moves organic and inorganic soil particles along the soil surface, depositing them in the lower landscape. The result would be long-term flooding. Degraded soil may form new soil or migrate to nearby water bodies (ponds, streams, etc.).

What causes water erosion?

 Depending on the reason, the end of the soil water can be natural or accelerated. Natural water erosion is beyond human control and has no significant impact on soil fertility. It is caused by rain, snow melt or water runoff, i.e. the force of nature. Each type of soil has its own erosion rate, which depends on the characteristics of the soil and its climate.

On the contrary, rapid erosion is a result of irrational farming. This happens when the wrong choice of the irrigation system, the amount of water and the time of installation leads to the destruction of the soil layer. 

Different types of water erosion

Land degradation caused by water takes place at many levels and manifests itself in different ways depending on the cause. Below are the most common types of water erosion that can affect the soil if not removed quickly. 

Splash Erosion:

This is the first stage of the erosion process caused by rain. The rain is actually a "bombard" exposed, the earth is empty, removing its contents and destroying the structure of the surface. Finally, this causes the formation of crusts on the surface, affecting the ability to penetrate into the poor soil and eventually causing runoff formation.

This type of soil erosion occurs when rainfall exceeds the capacity of the soil to penetrate and results in the loss of the best soil particles that contain nutrients and organic matter. It follows the formation of crusts caused in the past by soil erosion by water. If it is not removed in time, one of the worst effects of sheet erosion will be the formation of rills.

Rill Erosion

Rill erosion follows, when water concentrates in the soil and begins to form a fast-moving channel. These channels can reach 30 cm in depth and facilitate the removal and transport of soil material. Water erosion can eventually turn into gully erosion. This is when it is at least 0.3 m deep.

The effect of rill erosion

Gully Erosion

This is a high level of soil erosion by water, when the surface traps are damaged to such an extent that even the work of plowing will not be of any use. In addition to causing huge soil losses and destroying agricultural land, it also leads to a reduction in water quality by increasing sediment load in waterways.

Tunnel erosion

This is the type of land degradation known as “hidden” by water, which can cause serious disruption even before the signs are evident to the naked eye. It starts when a large amount of water starts to move on the ground which does not change. Therefore, it is generally the greatest threat to sodic soils. An example of tunneling would be an underground tunnel system.

What are the negative effects of water erosion?

 Despite the differences in their manifestations, all types of rainwater make one bad thing that can be explained.

Impact On Flora

The removal of topsoil due to the rapid process of soil erosion will affect the plants that grow there. Reducing nutrients that are washed to the ground by excess water will prevent plants from getting the necessary amount of essential elements, which will reduce their performance.

Impact on Fauna

A decrease in soil health is also not seen for organic matter. The lack of surface soil leads to water pollution from runoff, affecting animals, fish and algae in the area negatively. Ultimately, this leads to the decline of animals.


Excessive soil erosion by water can adversely affect the environment causing floods. The topsoil that is washed away loses its ability to absorb water, which increases the chance of flooding in the surrounding areas. These may include low-lying soils and soils with limited drainage. In the long run, severe flooding can be very disruptive, to the point of destroying roads and buildings. This is why it is important to identify negative changes in the health of the soil to prevent the situation from entering here
In addition to affecting animals, plants and agricultural land, runoff greatly reduces the quality of the water itself. The damaged particles eventually reach the nearby water surface, changing the chemical content of the water and reducing its oxygen level. In addition, water from degraded agricultural land contains harmful chemicals (due to the rapid application of pesticides in the past), which is washed into lakes, streams and the river

 How to stop water erosion and control it

Erosion control is important in combating the problem of soil erosion caused by water. And erosion solutions vary depending on soil type, topography, climate, crop rotation and land use. However, there is a waterproofing system for all its types.

How to prevent water erosion

  • Use a rain barrel

There are many options when it comes to water systems, so if you don't want the look of a rain barrel, there are other systems. When it rains in Bakersfield, you want to contain as much of it as possible and keep it from going anywhere you don't want it to. If you live on a slope or want to protect a newly planted garden bed, maintain some kind of drainage system to prevent water from blocking your design.

  • Plant tree and Shrubs

A good choice for any landscape, plants and trees serve many purposes. When planted on a slope or on the shore, they can reduce the impact of rain, wind and high water by 50 percent. The roots of these plants will help cool the soil by 'to drink too much water. If you can, try to plant a shrub that will climb upwards rather than vertically.

  • Mulch

Mulch can be made from bark, decaying leaves or compost and this adds texture and serves many purposes in your garden. When combined with fertilizer, the material can help absorb water. With mulch, you can reduce the impact of rain on the area. Mulch can also help increase the pH balance of the soil and prevent weeds from growing in your beds. Make sure you always add a layer of mulch to the area to prevent the soil from getting damaged. 

  • Landscaping Supply Bakersfield matting

This landscaping material can be used in various areas of your landscape and is made of wood, grass, or coconut fiber. When the material is placed in the garden bed, it will help to absorb any water. But do not worry about it spoiling the aesthetic design, the tree will grow from the mat and it can be cut to fit any size.

  • Build a Terrace or a Retaining Wall

If you've ever seen puddles on your lawn, it's caused by overwatering. With a seat or retaining wall, it can prevent water from flowing and have water exactly where you need it: around the flower bed.
Streams often appear on hillsides, canals and flower beds. If your commercial or residential area is suffering from erosion, contact Kern Turf Supply. Our flooring can help create a beautiful and effective design

Sheet erosion Prevention

Controlling sheet erosion begins with maintaining ground cover, landscaping, and soil resources. This prevents the development of water erosion by blocking the surface of the soil. 

Another protective option is to cover the top of the soil with mulch. Like the fields may decrease after the state of the land location, the monitor program provides the farmers to check the variety of services not only in time but also long. From a moment, a farmer may use the product results that result in work and find out the problem site. Defining the monitoring function makes it possible to accurately measure the meteorological water damage process in the field and implement timely management strategies.
a survey project that seeks to identify the presence of erosion processes in the field

Rill Erosion Prevention

The only way to prevent erosion at the level where runoff has already started is to slow down the flow and stabilize the soil. One of the best ways to reduce water loss is to cover the surface of the soil with mulch or plant residues. But it can be ensured that the strength of the soil is strong with the right crop rotation.

 How to prevent Gully erosion

To avoid this type of damage to the health of the soil, farmers must reduce logging and prevent water traps in buildings, roads, and cattle tracks.

Gully erosion control methods are actually a combination of methods to prevent more water from entering the soil. Such gully erosion control methods involve the use of fences, banks, and different engineered constructions to prevent additional water access to the land.

Prevention of tunnel erosion

Preventing tunnel erosion is not an easy task. Only a few succeed. This type of erosion is not only difficult but costly to control. This requires the use of chemicals, machinery and plant power to prevent the formation of tunnels and affect its further development. Chemical improvements include high application of gypsum and/or lime in soil treatments to ensure electrolyte balance. Regular soil testing not only helps to detect tunnel erosion in time, but also conducts important tests for pH level, electrolyte concentration, etc. and ensure correct chemical enhancement. 

Fields damaged by tunnel erosion require not only chemical remediation but also application of fertilizers to areas suffering from reduced productivity. In this case, different fertilizers are the best choice.Dividing fields into different zones based on the productivity of the crops planted is needed. Such a method makes the seed from the field damaged and reduces the chemical effect on the soil. productivity map of fields with low general productivity
Maintaining good soil and preventing any kind of water erosion is one of the most important tasks of every farmer.


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