Soil Erosion Vocabulary List

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 3:27 PM

Soil Erosion Vocabulary
Soil erosion- The wearing away of the land surface by water, wind, ice, gravity or other natural or anthropogenic agents that abrade, detach and remove soil particles or rock material from one point on the earth's surface, for deposition elsewhere, including gravitational creep and so-called tillage erosion.
Soil degradation is when soil deteriorates because of human activity and loses its quality and productivity. (is not the same as soil erosion)
Soil conservation-is the management of soil to prevent its destruction. Soil can be destroyed very quickly by wind and water erosion, but forms very slowly (many decades per centimeter of soil)
Humus-is a dark-colored substance that forms as plant and animal remains decay.
Loam-a well-draining soil that is made up of about equal parts of clay, sand and silt.
Landslide-a general term for a mass movement landform and a process characterized by moderately rapid to rapid (greater than 30 cm per year) downslope transport by means of gravitational stresses, of a mass of rock and regolith that may or may not be water saturated.
Soil Horizon-A soil horizon is a layer of soil that differs in color and texture from the layers above or below it. There are three different basic soil horizons: A, B and C. The topmost “A” horizon is made of topsoil, a mixture of humus and clay. The “B” horizon is called subsoil, with little humus and some weathered rock. The “C” horizon contains partly weathered rock.
Topsoil-is a crumbly, dark brown soil that is a mixture of humus, clay and other minerals. It is the best soil for plant growth
Loess-material transported and deposited by wind and consisting of predominantly silt-sized particles, forming important fertile soils
•Subsoil-is a soil that usually exists below the topsoil. It has little humus, and in primarily a mix of weathered rock, sand and clay that washed down from the topsoil above
Sediment-is the material moved by erosion.
Natural erosion-the influence of climatic forces on the surface of the earth.
Deposition-occurs when the agents of erosion (wind, water, ice and gravity) lay down sediment in a new location, such as in a river delta.
Sedimentation-process of depositing sediment from water runoff.
Deforestation-removal of trees from a forested area without adequate replanting
Silt-A sedimentary material consisting of very fine particles intermediate in size between sand and clay
Laterization-The result of deforestation in tropical forests, the protective and restorative forest layer above the soil are removed and the ground becomes extremely hard and cannot be penetrated by germinating forest seeds, so recolonization is slow or absent.
Land-use planning-Process for deciding the best present and future use of each parcel of land in an area
Slump-is the rapid movement of a mass of soil and rock downhill as a single unit.
Creep-is the very slow movement of soil and rock down a slope.
Contour plowing-is a soil conservation technique in which fields are plowed parallel to the contour lines of slopes, so that water cannot easily run downhill and erode the soil.
Conservation plowing-is a soil conservation technique in which crop stalks and weeds are left in place over the winter after crops are harvested, so that the stalks and weeds will hold the soil in place and decay into humus.
Leaching-removal of soluble materials from one zone in soil to another via water movement in the profile.
Eutrophication-bodies of water that receive excess nutrients stimulating excessive plant growth.
Riparian-the transition zone between a waterway and the land environment
Conservation tillage-crop cultivation in which the soil is disturbed little (minimum-tillage farming) or not at all (no-till farming) to reduce soil erosion, lower labor costs, and save energy.
Sustainable agriculture-food growing methods which maintain soil productivity and minimize long term impacts on the environment
Runoff-water that moves too quickly to be absorbed into the ground.
Turbidity-measures the relative clarity of water
Infiltration - flow of water from the land surface into the subsurface.
Permeability - the ability of a material to allow the passage of a liquid, such as water through rocks. Permeable materials, such as gravel and sand allow water to move quickly through them, whereas impermeable material, such as clays, don't allow water to flow freely.
Saturated - completely full, as ground water is an area within a rock layer that is completely filled or saturated with water.
Desertification-degradation of once fertile land into non-productive land
Weathering-the process that breaks down rock andother substances on Earth’s surface.
“Dust Bowl”-was an area in the prairies of the west-central United States, where drought conditions and plowing in the 1930’s caused a severe loss of topsoil.
Overburden-Layer of soil and rock overlying a mineral deposit, removed during surface mining
Sustainable agriculture-method of growing crops and raising livestock based on organic fertilizers, soil conservation, water conservation, biological control of pests, and minimal use of non-renewable fossil-fuel energy
Gully erosion-where water concentrates in channels too deep to smooth over by tilling
•Stream bank /shoreline erosion -the saturated sides of running streams tumble into the moving water below.
Accelerated erosion-human disturbance of the land from construction or industrial processes that contribute to or cause erosion
Mulching-applying organic material to the ground and hillsides to form a temporary protective soil cover. Mulching helps maintain soil integrity and aid in seedling emergence.
Tackifier- a resinous material that is added to mulches or seed slurries to hold fibers together and to keep them from washing or blowing away.

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  1. I definitely learned some new words about sediment control by reading this.