CAN PLANTS STOPSOIL EROSION Is there a way that plants can prevent soil erosion and save us from all the damage.Natalie Segamwenge 24.01.2018Year 7 SCIENCE FAIR INTRODUCTIONIn several places around the globe the moment you step outside the comfort of your home, your foot tramples upon soil. The world has plenty of it. However with soil erosion (the washing away of soil and a form of soil degradation) we are losing  farmland, are waterways are being polluted, and yearly we lose billions of dollars because of it. So soil erosion is a big problem even though we have loads of soil soon we may not have any of it. AimI aim to hopefully find an easy way to prevent soil erosion using plants or at least create awareness on the topic so we can find a way to solve it.HYPOTHESISI believe plants will supply a protective cover on the solid ground and therefore prevent soil erosion.Research questions What is soil erosion What are the causes of soil erosion    Different types of soil erosion What are some methods to prevent soil erosion Impacts of soil erosion MATERIALSAluminum bread pans, Aluminum cake pansSoil Radish seeds Ruler, metricScissors or sharp knifeSticky notesFull- size watering can Permanent markerShort plastic containerStopwatchKitchen scale; available from Amazon.comPROCEDUREWhat is soil erosion?Soil erosion is a natural occurrence that affects each and every landform. To put it simply, soil erosion is when the uppermost layer of the ground ( also known as topsoil ) is shifted from one side to another ‘by water and wind or through conversion of natural vegetation to agricultural land’, as said by This is not good because topsoil is best for farming, has lots of organic matter and is good for other fertile activities.Causes of soil erosion Sometimes soil erosion can be a process that’s the opposite of fast and continues relatively unnoticed, however it might occur at an very alarming rate, therefore causing serious loss of precious topsoil.Soil erosion can be caused by natural occurrences or by the human race.Rainfall Intensity and Runoff: The collision of raindrops will break the soil up so the build-up of water will create runoff, taking residue along with it.Slope Gradient and Length: A greater quantity of soil can be lost, the steeper the slope. When soil erodes downward, it enlarges the slope degree, which then, creates further erosion.Farming: When farmers grow crops or other agricultural activities , it reduces the overall structure of the soil, it also makes it even more susceptible to the damage caused by rain and water. Wind: A major factor in reducing soil quality and promotion erosion is wind, specifically if the soil’s structure has been loosened up prior to the situation.But, typically lighter winds do not cause a lot of damage, if any. Different types of soil erosion There are several types of soil erosion however the types of soil erosion that are most known include: Splash erosion: the effect of raindrops falling creates a little crater in the soil, which ejects some soil particles.Gully erosion:  it happens when runoff water assembles and very quickly flows in thin channels throughout or exactly after heavy rains or melting snow, getting rid of soil to a substantial depth.Sheet erosion: Sheet erosion is caused by sheet movement of running water, it has eroded many layers from hill slopes. In land that is unprotected and soils that are overgrazed unpacked grains are taken away by running water. What are some methods to prevent soil erosion? There are many ways to prevent soil erosion and some very common ones include: geotextiles, mulch, and retaining wallsGeotextiles are porous fabrics when they are used it is  associated  with soil, it has the power to filter ,reinforce ,separate ,drain, or protect. It stabilizes the soil which helps prevent soil erosion.Mulch/Fertilizer: ‘Applying a layer of mulch to the soil top allows the soil to slowly soak up water, as it protects against rain impact’ as said at If retaining walls are built around the area of erosion they can prevent water runoff. Impacts of soil erosion Farmers will farm less crops and crops will be more expensive and be on high demand. Over time the farming land will be ruined. Soil erosion can also pollute water. A lot of people might not be able to have water. Purification of the water would most probably take longer and be more expensive. Airborne dust pollution    Particles picked up during wind erosion of soil are a very large cause of air pollution. These particles of soil are usually filled with very toxic chemicals which are a real ecological and public health problem when they land later, or are breathed in.Dust from erosion can change the color of the sky from blue to white in red sunsets. Sedimentation of aquatic ecosystems    “Soil erosion is considered to be the leading global cause of diffuse water pollution, due to the effects of the excess sediments flowing into the world’s waterways. The sediments themselves act as pollutants, as well as being carriers for other pollutants, such as attached pesticide molecules or heavy metals” as said in REFERENCES