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Soil erosion is commonly defined as the process by which there is removal of top soil faster than it can be replenished by the soil forming processes. Various causes of erosion exist and they include water, wind, glaciers and gravity and these causes are triggered by various phenomena that are taking place in various parts of the planet. These phenomena ranges from a slow movement of the ice bodies as experienced in the glacial mountains to the movement of land masses like during land slides that can be caused by earthquakes among others natural occurrences.
There are various broad categories of soil erosion which are classified based on their causes and the commonly identified types are the following: wind erosion is often witnessed in dry areasof the world where strong winds brush against various landforms cutting through them causing the loosening of soil particles resulting it to be eroded and the consequent transportation in the direction of the wind blowing. Examples of land features resulting from the effects of soil erosion are the mushroom rocks which are found in deserts.
Another type of erosion of the soil erosion which is mainly caused by the running water exemplified by rivers which erode their river basins, the rain water that erodes land forms and finally the sea waves that erode the coastal sea shores. Water is the main agent in water erosion and serves to transport soil particles from areas of higher altitude and deposit in area of low altitudes. Third type is the gravitatioon erosion mainly involving mass movement of soil due to the gravitational force. Final category of soil erosion is the glacial erosion caused by moving glaciers in high altitude areas.
Causes of soil erosion can either be man made or natural and man made causes includes: exploitation of nature through faulty farming systems, overgrazing, land clearings through farming and construction, e.g. of dams, river diversions and finally through mining activities. The natural causes include: climate, water flow, soil properties and finally the gradient of the slope.
Soil erosion can be prevented by various activities like planting of tree to form tree cover, construction of terraces, gabions, restricted animal grazing and panting of cover crops.