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Erodibility describes or is a measure of the inherent resistance of geologic materials (soils and rocks) to erosion. Highly erodible geologic materials are readily displaced and transported by water. This page provides basic information about soil erodibility.

Types of soil erosion

image of soil erosion
Illustration of four types of soil erosion.

There are four types of soil erosion.

  1. Sheet erosion: the uniform removal of soil in thin layers by the forces of raindrops and overland flow. It can be a very effective erosive process because it can cover large areas of sloping land and go unnoticed for quite some time National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory.
  2. Rill erosion: the removal of soil by concentrated water running through little streamlets, or headcuts. Detachment in a rill occurs if the sediment in the flow is below the amount the load can transport and if the flow exceeds the soil's resistance to detachment National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory.
  3. Gully erosion: the removal of soil along drainage lines by surface water runoff. Once started, gullies will continue to move by headward erosion or by slumping of the side walls unless steps are taken to stabilise the disturbance Agriculture Victoria.
  4. Dispersive soils: dispersive soils are structurally unstable, which makes them vulnerable to the forms of erosion described above. Dispersive soils are typically clay soils with an exchangeable sodium percent greater than 5%.

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