Soil Problems • The main issue is that soils take thousands of years to develop but are very quickly ruined by human actions. • Natural loss occurs via leaching, erosion and mass movements but today the natural balance of soil is being upset far more frequently. • Human impact alters nutrient content, leads to soil erosion, compaction and salinisation.
Soil Erosion • The problem was first recognized in the UK in the 1970's when water erosion of upland peat and wind erosion on large open fields was prevalent. • A large quantity of soil was removed, much of which was the organic rich topsoil. • The more topsoil that is removed the more erosion that occurs, as there are fewer roots to bind the soil.
Causes Of Erosion • More intensive agriculture. • Larger and more powerful agricultural machinery. • Increase compaction of soil. • Inappropriate cultivation of steeper slopes. • Larger fields. • Year round agriculture. • Decrease in hedgerows. • Population pressure. • Development.
Activity Looking at P126-128 in AS Level Geography, answer the following questions... • Create 2 spider diagrams of positive and negative impacts people have on soils (using no more than 2 words per key point e.g. Fertilisers, Overgrazing etc). • What are the 5 main ways of how farming methods affect soils briefly commenting on their effects?