What are the Different Types of Erosion?

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Erosion of land happens in a variety of different ways.

Water                    Wind                    Glacier                    Soil                    Sea        


Water Erosion

Water erosion occurs from the chemicals in the water, and the force of the flow of water in the river. There are many chemicals in the water of a river, and those chemicals can break down certain rocks, such as limestone or chalk. This eroded rock is carried down the river. Sometimes, a crack or crevice develops. When the force of the flowing river smashes into that crack, the rock can break away, and again be carried down the river.

As you can see, erosion creates a load in the river. When rocks, pebbles or even boulders smack the riverbed, or side, this can cause further erosion. Also, if a boulder is stuck in an eddy, it can create a pothole in the riverbed. Rivers can wind around, but that will be looked at in the next section.


Wind Erosion

Wind erosion, though it may be small where you live, can take quite a toll on areas of the world covered in desert. Wind erosion is simple... light objects, such as rocks and pebbles are carried by the wind and can hit landforms, eroding materials off them, that are carried off in the wind.


Glacier Erosion

Ice erosion, besides that of hail, comes mostly in the form of glacier erosion. Glaciers are giant bodies of ice that can pick up huge pieces of rock, some even as big as houses. A combination of the water, ice, and picked up sediment, create a powerful eroding machine.

The more sediment that's picked up, the greater the force of erosion. The erosion can smooth out areas that were once rugged and rocky. Glaciers can carry almost anything, and like sandpaper, the sediment just keeps increasing. Glaciers are such a powerful force that they can carve valleys, deposit moraines, or lead to the creation of landforms such as delta's (discussed later).


Sea Erosion

Erosion in the Sea also occurs. The salts and other chemicals can erode weak rocks on the coast, such as limestone and chalk. The eroded materials are carried up the shore by the means of a longshore drift

Waves crashing against the shore can create air pressure inside cracked rocks, that can eventually break them. Furthermore, if rocks, pebbles or sediment is carried in the waves, they can smash up against the shore and erode it even more.


Soil Erosion

Soil erosion pays the biggest price to farmers. Flooding, wind etc. can carry the topsoil away from farmlands, and make the soil unfertile. I will have more information in the pages ahead.


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                     Virtual Science Fair 2004