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Erosion Definition

Erosion moves Earth's surface pieces from one place to another. This is usually caused by moving water or wind.

View Lesson on Changing the Shape of Land
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Changing the Shape of Land

Fun Facts

  • Erosion usually happens very slowly. We can slow down or prevent erosion by using science.
  • An example of erosion is when a river carries soil downstream and makes rocks in the river smoother over time.
  • Erosion causes changes in the shape of the land over time and can cause major damage!

Why Do We Need To Know About Erosion

Learning about erosion helps us see how it affects farming and why it’s important for farmers to deal with it. When water changes the shape of the land, it can harm the soil used for growing crops. We can use plants to help because their roots hold the soil together and drink up some of the water. Plant science and caring for our environment work together to stop erosion.

Knowing about erosion helps in building things and planning land use. It shows why using certain materials, like rocks, can protect against erosion by wind. This information is useful for building strong buildings and for keeping beaches safe. It shows how understanding erosion can help us look after our environment better and make good rules for using land.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can wind change the shape of the land?
Wind can carry soil across a distance, such as sand dunes forming or being blown away. This is called wind erosion.
How can water change the shape of the land?
Water can carry tiny pieces of the Earth’s surface downstream, like how the Grand Canyon was formed by the flowing water of the Colorado River.
What are some examples of erosion?
Wind breaking down rocks and carrying the particles away is an example of erosion. You can also see how over time a river carries soil downstream and makes rocks in the river smoother.
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