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Erosion Control Methods

Abhijit Naik
A brief write-up on some easy-to-implement erosion control methods, which can be used to check soil erosion and curb numerous environmental problems associated with it.
Erosion control is basically the practice of controlling soil erosion by restricting the activity of various agents which contribute to this damaging activity. Right from agriculture to construction, every sector is affected by this natural hazard, and that has prompted people to resort to various measures of keeping a check on these agents of erosion.

Erosion Control

The matter in the top layer of the Earth's surface, typically characterized by its ability to support lifeforms, is known as soil. When this layer of the Earth's surface is eroded due to various agents of erosion acting upon it, it is referred to as soil erosion.
The most prominent agents of erosion are water (surface flow and underground water), wind (most prominent in deserts), waves (restricted to the seashore), and ice (restricted to cold mountainous regions and polar areas).
The fact that wind erosion and glacial erosion are restricted to certain zones makes them less important as compared to water erosion and wave erosion.

Water Erosion Control

Water is by far the most prominent agent of soil erosion and the fact that there are numerous sources of surface flow, right from rainwater to rivers, makes it virtually impossible to stop its activity.
That being said, we need to opt for soil conservation methods as an effective tool to counter water erosion. One of the most effective ways to conserve soil is to plant vegetation.
Planting different species, including trees, shrubs, creepers, etc., is a wise option. As these plants start growing, their roots spread in the soil and hold it together.
Slopes are most vulnerable to erosion by surface water runoff. In order to curb such erosion, the best measure is to plant trees along the slope.
Planting creepers is a definite advantage, as they grow horizontally and thus cover more ground. That, however, doesn't mean you decorate the entire slope with creepers. Bigger trees have deeper roots which hold more soil together and thus, are quite efficient.

Wave Erosion Control

Shoreline erosion by waves is as common as erosion of sand dunes by wind. When we refer to erosion by waves, it includes erosion of sandy beaches as well as rocky structures along the coastline.
Use of geotextile tubes filled with sand and stones is one of the most popular measures of controlling shoreline erosion. Similarly, breakwater, which is a protective structure made from large stones to prevent the shore from being washed away, is also known to be quite effective and considerably inexpensive.
If not controlled in time, soil erosion can lead to various problems including loss of fertile soil and natural disasters, like land slides.
A slope, which is subjected to continuous erosion, is bound to weaken over the course of time and eventually cause a landslide. If we are to avoid such disasters, the need of the hour is to come up with erosion prevention measures and implement them at the ground level.