How Do Humans Cause Erosion?

Humans are a main cause of soil erosion.
••• growing plant in soil image by joanna wnuk from

Erosion occurs for several reasons, but a main reason is human activity. When humans disturb the earth with construction, gardening, logging and mining activities the result is a weakening of the topsoil of the earth, which leads to excessive wearing away and erosion.


Deforestation, which is logging or burning forests, is a way in which humans cause erosion. Removal of the vegetation covering the ground causes the soil, which is unprotected against wind and water, to erode. The loss of topsoil essentially destroys the ability for the land to regenerate.


Watering gardens and lawns also causes erosion. When using a garden hose or an irrigation system, the water hits the ground with enough force to cause the soil to erode. Overwatering will also cause soil erosion.


Agriculture is the main way humans cause soil erosion. When vegetation is planted in the ground, the topsoil is shifted, which causes erosion. The loose topsoil is then transported by wind to nearby streams and waterways and become sediment or runoff, lowering the overall quality of the water.

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