Erosion, Sedimentation, and Runoff. When a soil is well managed, it can be an efficient rainwater sponge. … Further, damage to water quality occurs when this eroded soil enters surface waters. Sedimentation occurs when water carrying eroded soil particles slows long enough to allow soil particles to settle out.May 1, 2020
Runoff / erosion processes result in the transfer of water / soil from fields to adjacent land / water courses. These processes also transfer plant nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus) and pesticides (PPPs). Pesticide runoff represents the most important diffuse source entry route of PPP into surface water.
The greater the amount of water infiltrating into the soil, the less water available to run off a field. This translates to less sediment and nutrient export to stream(s). Infiltrated water can instead be used by plants in the field to grow or to recharge shallow groundwater.
Soil quality is the capacity of a soil to function for specific land uses or within ecosystem boundaries. … Such indicators as organic-matter content, salinity, tilth, compaction, available nutrients, and rooting depth help measure the health or condition of the soil-its quality-in any given place.
Water and Wind Erosion
Water erosion is the removal of soil by water and transportation of the eroded materials away from the point of removal. Water action due to rain erodes the soil and causes activities like gully, rill, and stream erosion leading to the downstream effects of flooding and sedimentation.
Soil pollution causes a chain reaction. It alters soils’ biodiversity, reduces soil organic matter and soils’ capacity to act as a filter. It also contaminates the water stored in the soil and groundwater, and causes an imbalance of soil nutrients.
Impacts of erosion on water quality:
Sediment deposition in lakes and rivers increases water turbidity making it difficult for light to penetrate the water. This causes problems for aquatic plants that need sunlight for photosynthesis. Sediments are also rich in nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
The impact of soil erosion can be very significant not only in reducing soil productivity but also in deteriorating water quality. Increased levels of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in surface waters are also leading contributors to reduced water quality. …
Slope length, steepness and roughness affect erodibility. Generally, the longer the slope, the greater the potential for erosion. … The steeper the slope, the faster the water will flow. The faster it flows, the more likely it will cause erosion and increase sedimentation.
Farmers intentionally dig drainage ditches within and around their fields to prevent water logging of plants. This means that water moves initially via overland flow and then via small channels into rivers, affecting both the hydrograph and annual regimes of those rivers.
The main difference between groundwater and runoff is runoff refers to water that stays on the Earth’s surface, while groundwater is located…
Runoff, and groundwater seepage, accumulate and are stored as freshwater in lakes. Not all runoff flows into rivers, though. Much of it soaks into the ground as infiltration.
soil water—water in soil pores carries the nutrients to plant roots. fertilisers—an excess of a particular nutrient can impede the uptake of others.
The soil’s ability to retain water is strongly related to particle size; water molecules hold more tightly to the fine particles of a clay soil than to coarser particles of a sandy soil, so clays generally retain more water. … The process by which soil absorbs water and water drains downwards is called percolation.
Capillarity is the primary force that enables the soil to retain water, as well as to regulate its movement. … In the same way that water moves upwards through a tube against the force of gravity; water moves upwards through soil pores, or the spaces between soil particles.
soil water content – Amount of water a given soil can store, primarily influenced by the soil texture and the soil organic matter content. In general, soils with greater silt and clay-sized particles have greater water- holding capacities. Likewise, soils with more organic matter have greater water-holding capacities.
Soil structure affects water and air movement through soil, greatly influencing soil’s ability to sustain life and perform other vital soil functions. Soil pores exist between and within aggregates and are occupied by water and air. … Macropores drain freely by gravity and allow easy movement of water and air.
on soil quality
“Mining operations routinely modify the surrounding landscape by exposing previously undisturbed earthen materials. Erosion of exposed soils, extracted mineral ores, tailings, and fine material in waste rock piles can result in substantial sediment loading to surface waters and drainage ways.
Also, the recycling of waste products will also contribute towards a reduction in the soil contamination due to landfills. Promoting healthy agricultural practices such as the use of organic manure and organic farming methods can help reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers used on agricultural soils.
Improved soil quality leads to better production performance including reduced input costs for herbicides, pesticides and fuel, less wear on machinery and more efficient use of water and nutrients.
Soils absorbing less water result in more runoff overland into streams. Soil saturation: Like a wet sponge, soil already saturated from previous rainfall can’t absorb much more … thus more rainfall will become surface runoff. Land cover: Some land covers have a great impact on infiltration and rainfall runoff.
The steep slope will increase the number and speed of runoff so that erosion will be accelerated due to more transported and dissolved materials . Steeper slope will enhance the flow resulting a bigger power and amount of water to transport the soil.
1. Soil erosion inhibits our ability to grow nutritious food. By decreasing the nutrients available to plants as well as the space for them to put down roots, soil erosion can decrease crop yields by up to 50 percent. In addition, crops that do grow tend to be of a lower quality: misshapen, smaller and less nutritious.
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