Wind Erosion-causes And Effects

Wind Erosion-Causes and Effects

When the wind transfers the soil from one region to another, then it is called as wind erosion. Suspension, saltation, and surface creep are three ways for soil particles to move, depending on their size and wind strength. 

What are the Factors That Influence the Wind-Driven Soil Erosion?

Wind Erosion-Causes and Effects


•    The wind carries very fine soil particles high into the air and transports them over long distances (suspension). Fine-to-medium sized soil particles are lifted into the air and then fall back to the soil surface, causing damage to crops and dislodging more soil (saltation). 
•    Wind dislodges larger soil particles that are too large to be lifted off the ground and rolls them along the soil surface (surface creep). The abrasion caused by windblown particles breaks down stable surface aggregates, increasing soil erodibility even more.


•    Surfaces that are not rough provide little wind resistance. In a windstorm, however, ridges left by tillage can dry out faster, resulting in more loose, dry soil available to blow. 
•    Abrasion wears away at the roughness of soil surfaces over time, filling them in. As a result, the surface is smoother and more susceptible to wind. Excess tillage can contribute to erosion and soil structure breakdown.


•    The amount of soil erosion is proportional to the speed and duration of the wind. When soil moisture levels are very low at the surface of excessively drained soils or during droughts, particles are released for wind transport. This effect can also be seen when the soil surface freezes over during the winter months. 
•    Wind erosion is indicated by the accumulation of soil on the leeward side of barriers such as fence rows, trees, or buildings, or by brown snow cover during the winter.


•    The absence of windbreaks (trees, shrubs, crop residue, etc.) allows the wind to move soil particles over longer distances, increasing abrasion and soil erosion. The most exposed areas are knolls and hilltops, which suffer the most.


•    Wind erosion is exacerbated in some areas due to a lack of permanent vegetative cover. The most susceptible soil is loose, dry, bare soil; however, crops that produce little residue (such as soybeans and many vegetable crops) may not provide enough resistance. Even crops that produce a lot of residue may not be able to protect the soil in extreme cases.
•    A cover crop with an adequate network of living windbreaks, in combination with good tillage, residue management, and crop selection, is the most effective protective vegetative cover.

What are the Effects of Wind Erosion?

•    Sandblasting of young seedlings or transplants, burial of plants or seed, and seed exposure are all examples of how wind erosion harms crops. Crops are ruined, causing costly delays and necessitating reseeding. Plants damaged by sandblasting are more susceptible to disease, resulting in lower yields, lower quality, and lower market value. Wind erosion can also wreak havoc on operations, preventing timely field activities.
•    Soil drifting is a fertility-depleting process that can result in poor crop growth and yield reductions in fields where wind erosion is a common occurrence. The soil undergoes a textural change as a result of continuous drifting. 
•    The loss of fine sand, silt, clay, and organic particles from sandy soils reduces the soil's ability to hold moisture. This exacerbates the problem by increasing the soil's erodibility.
•    Wind-blown soil removal from fence rows, constructed drainage channels and roads, and around buildings is a time-consuming and expensive process. 
•    Furthermore, soil nutrients and surface-applied chemicals can be carried with the soil particles, resulting in off-site effects. Blowing dust can also be harmful to people's health and pose a threat to public safety.

What Do You Mean By Tillage Erosion?

•    Tillage erosion is the process of soil redistribution caused by tillage and gravity. It causes soil to move downslope in a progressive manner, causing severe soil loss on upper slopes and accumulation on lower slopes. This type of erosion is a common way for water to get into the ground. 
•    Soil is moved to convergent areas of a field where surface water runoff concentrates through tillage. Furthermore, exposed subsoil is highly erodible by water and wind. Tillage erosion has the greatest potential for “on-site” soil movement and, in some cases, can cause more erosion than wind or water.


Wind Erosion-Causes and Effects
1.    Type of Tillage Equipment
Lifting and carrying tillage equipment will move more soil. A chisel plough, for example, leaves far more crop residue on the soil surface than a moldboard plough, but it can move as much soil as the moldboard plough and move it further. Tillage erosion can be reduced by employing implements that do not move a lot of soil.
2.    Direction: Depending on the direction of tillage, tillage implements like a plough or disc throw soil up or down slope. When tilling in the down-slope direction, more soil is typically moved than when tilling in the up-slope direction.
3.    Speed and Depth: The amount of soil moved is influenced by the speed and depth of tillage operations. Deep tillage disturbs more soil, whereas faster tillage moves the soil further.
4.    Number of Passes: The number of passes made by tillage equipment is reduced, which reduces soil movement. It also leaves more crop residue on the soil surface and reduces soil aggregate pulverisation, both of which help to resist water and wind erosion.


•    Crop development and yield are harmed by tillage erosion. Due to poor soil structure and loss of organic matter, crop growth on shoulder slopes and knolls is slow and stunted, and it is more susceptible to stress under adverse conditions. Changes in soil structure and texture can make the soil more erodible, exposing it to more erosion from the forces of water and wind.
•    Tillage erosion can include the movement of subsurface soil in extreme cases. Subsoil that has been moved from upper-slope to lower-slope positions has the potential to bury the productive topsoil in lower-slope areas, affecting crop development and yield. 
•    Tillage-eroded fields have shown soil loss of up to 2 m in depth on upper-slope positions, as well as yield declines of up to 40% in corn, according to research. In extreme cases, remediation entails relocating displaced soils to higher-slope locations.

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