The natural erosion process involves a breakdown of soil particles at a rate which is equal to the formation rate. Human activities interfere with the soil formation process and accelerate the erosion process, up to ten times faster (Landscape Planet 1). Consequentially, the ecosystem is affected and biodiversity threatened. Although erosion control processes are utilized, much has to be done to reduce the adverse effects on the environment.
Commercial agriculture is a leading cause of soil erosion. Particularly, the erosion rate exceeds 1500 feet in a period of a million years. Compared to the natural erosion rate of 60 feet over the same period, human interference with nature has critical implications on economic and environmental parameters (Live Science 1). Mining activities also lead to soil erosion. Open pit mining and hydraulic fracturing are examples of mining activities that interfere with the soil formation process. Construction and mining activities disrupt the natural surface composition, exposing the environment to sinkholes which accelerate the erosion process.
Soil erosion in the coastal region occurs as a result of a decrease of sand supply that may be caused by the development of transportation resources. Particularly, structures in the coastal line are modified to accommodate transportation needs; however, the process of trapping sand erodes soil composition alongside the shore (Mangor 1). Commonly, structures such a sports, groynes and modifications in tidal inlets are established through trapping of sand by shifting it according to structural preferences. As a result, soil erosion is accelerated due to human interests in the region.
Ultimately, nations have to implement sustainable processes to protect environmental interests which are aligned with economic needs since human survival depends on conservation of earth’s biodiversity. While researchers continue to introduce innovative erosion control systems, legislative resources can be introduced to encourage accountability, especially for companies that are mostly responsible for large-scale soil erosion.
- Landscape Planet. “Causes of erosion.” Landscape Planet, http://www.landscapeplanet.com/maintenance-1-cause-of-erosion.htm
- Live Science. “Earth Movers: Humans cause most erosion.” Live Science, 3 Nov 2004, https://www.livescience.com/63-earth-movers-humans-erosion.html
- Mangor, Karsten. “Human causes of coastal erosion.” Coastal Wiki, 3 Dec 2008, http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/Human_causes_of_coastal_erosion.