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Soil Erosion

     Gully Formation Due to Soil Erosion Gully formation, a severe form of soil erosion, is a natural geological process that can be greatly accelerated by human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing of cattle, and poor agricultural practices. Erosion attacks the moisture-bearing ability of soils and adds deposits to waterways. These destructive processes continue at an increased rate on every continent, as overpopulation and industrialization tax the remaining soil.Oxford Scientific Films/Kathie Atkinson

     Soil erosion is accelerating on every continent but Antarctica and is degrading one fifth to one third of the cropland of the world, posing a significant threat to the food supply. For example, erosion is undermining the productivity of approximately 35 per cent of all cropland in the United States. In the developing world, increasing needs for food and firewood have resulted in the deforestation and cultivation of steep slopes, causing severe erosion. Adding to the problem is the loss of prime cropland to industry, dams, urban sprawl, and highways. The amount of topsoil lost each year is at least 25 million tonnes, which is enough, in principle, to grow 9 million tonnes of wheat. About half of all erosion is in the United States, the former Soviet Union, India, and China. Soil erosion and the loss of cropland and forests also reduce the moisture-holding capacity of soils and add sediments to streams, lakes, and reservoirs.



Tomorrow morning when you get up to take a nice deep breath, It will make you feel rotten.

~Citizens for Clean Air, Inc. (New York)