Contribution of Soil Erosion and Weathering to the Shaping of Landscapes

2021-05-18 10:09:48
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Soil erosion and weathering are natural processes, which tend to affect the regular appearance of the landscape. Soil erosion involves the movement of soil from one place to another by rainfall, the wind, and even human activities. Relatively, weathering too includes rocks and soil. Weathering refers to the disintegration of rocks and soil. Although the two have many similarities, they are very different, since soil erosion involves the movement of sand while weathering does not involve any movement. These two processes have the potential of shaping the landscape through various actions. Notably, weathering leads to rocks disintegration. This will eventually result in new shapes of rocks or smaller stones, which will change the landscape. Relatively, soil erosion involving heavy winds might lead to development or disappearance of rivers and wear of huge mountains, which is a change in the landscape.

This paper highlights soil erosion and weathering processes and their contribution to the shaping of landscapes.

Soil Erosion Concerning Shaping of the Landscape

As noted above, soil erosion involves the movement of soil and even rocks from one place to another through natural actions. Relatively, weathering involves disintegration of rocks. Different natural processes result in soil erosion. Firstly, rainfall is one of the leading causes of soil erosion. Rain results to four main types of erosion that include splash erosion, gully erosion, sheet erosion and rill erosion. Secondly, floods too lead to soil erosion. When it rains heavily, land is filled with water, and the water starts to move down the streams through different channels. This movement of the water forces it to carry along the soil leading to erosion. Floods relate to rivers and water streams. Just like floods, rivers too carry soil downstream (Boardman, 2013). Thirdly, the wind too plays a huge role in the ground erosion. Heavy winds carry small particles of sand leading to soil erosion. This process leaves the land bare after some time. However, this is common in places where the land is free with no crops or trees to cover the soil.

Based on that, soil erosion might lead to development and disappearance of rivers. Development and disappearances of rivers is a huge change in the landscape. As the water flows in small channels after heavy rains, it cuts through the earth carrying away some soils. This creates small channels that might develop into a huge one if the amount of water increases. Such an increase will mean that the channels created will develop, and this might result in the creation of rivers, which will change the landscape. Moreover, the erosion might lead to the disappearance of rivers, since the moved soils will cover the mainstream. Secondly, soil erosion shapes the landscape through wearing down of mountains (Morgan, 2009). Water runs downstream across mountains carrying enormous amount of sand. In the long due, the water carries away the soil used to create mountains. In such instances, mountains disappear or become smaller. Additionally, soil erosion creates deserts even in places where deserts never existed. As human beings are involved in activities such as deforestation, the land remains bare, and the wind carries away the soil. This is dangerous since with time the land becomes a desert.

Weathering Concerning Shaping of the Landscape

Although weathering and soil erosion have many similarities, their main difference is that weathering does not involve any movement of the soil or rocks. Weathering just disintegrates them. According to Wood, (2016), there are three main types of weathering, which are:; physical weathering, chemical weathering, and biological weathering. Mechanical weathering also known as physical weathering involves breaking down of rocks into smaller particles. This process starts when the water drops on the pores of the rocks. The water that falls in the pores of the rocks cools down and increases in volume. The increase in size will mean that the water will need more space in the rocks, and this is what breaks the rocks. Unlike the physical weathering, chemical weathering involves the change in the composition of the minerals involved. The chemical weathering typically depends on warm climate. After the weathering, the components of the substance involved become softer. These processes shape the landscape in different ways.

Firstly, weathering changes the shape of rocks, which make up the landscape. As the rocks break down into small particles, they change in shape and take new appearances. Secondly, weathering might lead to the development of high and low areas in the landscape. Although the weathering occurs in most rocks and minerals, others tend to remain resistant. This resistance by other rocks leads to the uneven breakdown of rocks that causes others to remain huge while others disintegrate to smaller particles.

In conclusion, wreathing and soil erosion have different potentials in creating shapes for the landscape. Soil erosion involves movement of soil while weathering involves disintegration of rocks. Firstly, soil erosion might lead to development and disappearance of rivers. Development and disappearances of rivers is a huge change in the landscape. Secondly, soil erosion creates deserts even in places where deserts never existed. As human beings are involved in activities such as deforestation, the land remains bare, and the wind carries away the soil. This is dangerous since with time the land becomes a desert. Weathering too shapes the landscape in different ways. Some rocks tend to remain resistant to disintegration. This resistance creates high and low places in the landscape.

References

Boardman, J. (2013). Modelling Soil Erosion by Water. Chicago: Springer Science & Business Media.

Morgan, R. P. (2009). Soil Erosion and Conservation. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Wood, L. (2016). Weathering. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.

 

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