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Water erosion is the process
of soil becoming detached and removed by water. This process can either be
natural, or accelerated by human activities. Depending on the soil, the
landscape, and weather conditions, the rate of weathering may vary. Water
erosion has several different forms and different causes. Splash erosion is
when small soil particles are sent airborne when raindrops hit the soil. Sheet
erosion happens when raindrops break apart soil structure and it moves
downslope by water flowing overland. Rill erosion is a process that develops
small concentrated flow paths. These create a sediment source and delivery
system. Locations where rain rates exceed soil infiltration are more likely to
experience this. Gully erosion occurs when water flows in small, narrow
channels during or right after a heavy rain, or, snow melts. This can cause
gullies can erode to extreme depths. Valley, or Stream, erosion is a continuous
flow of water beside land creates this kind of weathering. It deepens valleys
and causes it to extend into the hillside. This usually occurs during or after
flooding. The last form of water erosion is Bank erosion. This is the gradual
wearing down of banks alongside rivers and streams.


When it comes to major damage,
water erosion isn’t a huge cause. However, it can cause a lot of minor damage.

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It can destroy soil, because when rainwater sweeps topsoil away, it exposes the
important layers underneath to natural elements and this increases the release
of carbon dioxide. This process does occur very slowly and because of that, it
doesn’t usually harm ecosystems. But this process can also happen very quickly,
and can cause negative impacts on different environments and ecosystems.

This can damage plants by
reducing carbon and nutrients in the water and it results in less crop
productivity. Extreme water erosion can cause negative effects like flooding.

Because topsoil is gone and cannot absorb rainwater, locations prone to
flooding are definitely at more risk of flooding during a rainstorm. It can
happen in places with low lying areas or limited drains, and in extreme cases,
can sweep away roads, buildings, and houses. It can affect animals, more
specifically fish, by causing pesticide runoff and excessive topsoil, which can
conceal fish breeding areas and pollute downstream waters. Water erosion even
damages water. When rainwater weathers soil away, it can lead to poor water
quality, increases nitrogen and phosphorous, and increases the level of harmful
chemicals such as pesticides that can eventually reach rivers, lakes, and
oceans. Water erosion isn’t all bad, though. It can cause beautiful landmarks
and natural beauties such as the Creelsboro Natural Bridge in Russel County, Kentucky,
which according to the Natural Arch and Bridge Society is the largest natural
bridge east of the Rockies. It’s 104 feet long and is still being eroded by
water flowing from the Cumberland River. A very famous one is the Grand Canyon.

It took 6 million years to fully form, it 277 river miles long, 18 miles wide
and a mile deep. It was carved away my many flowing waters, including the
Colorado River. 

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