Water Erosion

by Susan Reid
(Rockport, IN)

Soil eroded by running water

Soil eroded by running water

I took a large, 30" x 18" translucent plastic tub and formed 2 large hills, one on each end of the box. I planted grass seed on one hill.


Over the next 3 weeks I left it in the sun, watered it with a watering can each day, being sure to be equal in the watering process on each hill.

The end results showed erosion was heavier on the hill with no grass.

I didn't show as much erosion differences in the hills as I would have liked. I think, using sod on the one hill and leaving the other bare, would have achieved the results I wanted.

I love science. Growing up on a farm offered first hand experience on a daily basis.

Barry's Response - Susan, any difference at all would have made your point, I believe. Especially if you know you kept everything else equal for the two hills.

Water or wind can induce erosion in real life cases. This experiment examined the effects of water erosion, comparing the resistance of the two soil samples to removal by passing water. The differences in coverings can be expected to and actually do affect the amount of erosion caused by the water, given that all other conditions are identical.

This type of research can lead to solutions to problematic erosion, ways to impede the motion of soil and preserve the condition of the land. It's important.

To be most useful, such a study need to be scientific. Keep in mind that lab results are most meaningful if you have a control group (such as your bare hill) and are able to quantify the difference (perhaps measure the mass of the eroded soil in each case).

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