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In earth science, erosion is the action of surface processes that removes soil, rock , or dissolved material from one location on the Earth's crust, and then.
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Weathering and Erosion Information and Effects | National Geographic

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Weathering and Erosion: Crash Course Kids #10.2

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Experience some explosive earth science! Following the completion of construction work, vegetation should be established around structures so that bare soil is not exposed to erosive forces. Hinterland effect. The development of irrigation schemes in developing countries is often associated with an increase in intensity of human activity in areas surrounding the scheme.

This may be due to people moving into the area as a result of the increased economic activity or may be carried out by farmers and their families who are directly engaged in irrigation activities. In either case typical activities are: more intensive rain fed agriculture; an increase in the number of livestock; and, greater use of forests, particularly for fuel wood. All these activities are liable to increase erosion in the area by decreasing vegetative cover which will have a detrimental effect on the local fertility and ecology as well as contribute to sediment related problems.

Clearing higher non-irrigated parts of the catchment can result in a rising downstream water table. In areas where the groundwater is saline the higher recharge may cause higher salinity levels in the rivers and cause pressure levels in the lower irrigated areas to rise thus impeding leaching. This can be prevented by planting deeper rooting crops and trees in the higher lands.

This phenomenon has been observed in South-eastern Australia. Mitigating actions can be put in place relatively easily with forethought as to problems that might arise. For example, allowance should be made for livestock, fuel wood or vegetable gardens within the layout of an irrigation scheme.

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Alternatively, protection of vulnerable areas maybe necessary. River morphology. The capacity and shape of a river results from its flow, the river bed and bank material, and the sediment carried by the flow. A fast flowing river has more energy and is able to carry higher sediment loads both more and larger particles than a slow moving river.

Hence, sediments settle out in reservoirs and in deltas where the flow velocity decreases. A river is said to be in regime when the amount of sediment carried by the flow is constant so that the flow is not erosive nor is sediment being deposited. The regime condition changes through the year with changing flows. Reductions in low flows and flood flows may significantly alter the river morphology, reducing the capacity to transport sediment and thereby causing a build up of sediments in slower moving reaches and possibly a shrinking of the main channel. Increasing flows will have the reverse effect.

Where the sediment balance changes over a short distance, perhaps due to a reservoir or the flushing of a sediment control structure, major changes to the local river morphology are likely to occur. The release of clear water from reservoirs may result in scour and a general lowering of the bed level immediately downstream of the dam, the reverse of the effect that might be expected with a general reduction in flows. Changes to the river morphology may effect downstream uses, in particular navigation and abstraction for drinking, industry and irrigation.

The river ecology may also be adversely effected. Channel structures. The susceptibility of channel structures to damage is strongly related to changes in channel morphology and changes in sediment regime. Increased suspended sediment will cause problems at intake structures in the form of siltation as well as pump and filtration operation.

Abstraction structures may become clogged with sediment or left some distance from the water. Degradation of the river bed is likely to threaten the structural integrity of hydraulic structures intakes, headworks, flood protection etc. The construction of new structures impacts on nearby structures by changing local flow conditions. Irrigation schemes can fail if the sediment load of the water supply is higher than the capacity of the irrigation canals to transport sediment. Sedimentation from within the scheme itself can also be a problem, for example, wind-blown soil filling canals.


Canal desilting is an extremely costly element of irrigation maintenance and design measures should minimize sediment entry. Reservoir siltation shortens the active life of the reservoir and must be given careful consideration at the design stage. The increases in erosion due to the economic activity prompted by the reservoir and its access roads needs to be taken into account.

Upstream erosion prevention, particularly within the project catchment is an important consideration of an EIA. However, this may not be sufficient to significantly reduce reservoir sedimentation, especially in view of the time delay between soil conservation activities and a reduction in river sediment loads. Estuary erosion. Changes to the morphology of river estuaries can result from increased erosion or sedimentation.


Erosion and Transport

Areas of mangrove may be threatened by changes to the estuary morphology and special studies may be required to determine any adverse impacts. Navigation and fishing may also be adversely affected. Biological and ecological change. Project lands Water bodies Surrounding area Valleys and shores Wetlands and plains.

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  5. This section focuses on the ecological changes brought about by the project. The most obvious ones are a consequence of the change of land use and water use in the project area but effects on the land around the project and on aquatic ecosystems that share the catchment are likely. Biological diversity, areas of special scientific interest, animal migration and natural industry are important study areas.

    The overall habitat as well as individual groups mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, insects etc. Rare and endangered species are often highly adapted to habitats with very narrow ranges of environmental gradients. Such habitats may not be of obvious economic value to man, eg arid areas, and therefore current knowledge of the biota may be poor and a special study may be required. Local knowledge is particularly important as the range of species may be very local. Thienemann's rules are useful in thinking about the ecology of the effected areas:.

    Petermann The nature of irrigation, ie providing water to water-short land, will radically change both the agricultural and natural ecology in the project area. The creation of compensation areas or habitat enhancement outside the project area may be useful mitigation measures where the natural habitat change is assessed as detrimental.