A Literature Review on Soil Erosion Quantification and Measurements
Soil erosion is a geomorphological process caused by nature or human activities. It exists throughout the world and erosion rates are highly variable, depending on climatic and topographic conditions as well as local soil properties. Most commonly, soil erosion is associated with water (rain splash or runoff); however, wind, especially in arid and semi-arid regions can cause erosion, too. Many studies investigate the effects of soil conservation practices in different regions of the world, showing that there is no single principle applicable to all cases. In addition to tailoring soil conservation measures to the specific environment, some local agronomic measures may also prevent erosion. The applica-tion of vegetation cover increases soil moisture and organic matter content. This also improvesinfiltration rates of rainwater. Furthermore, the use of organic mulch proves to protect soil against water erosion and improve its physical properties. Whenever possible, agricultural practices should be combined with soil management strategies. Mechanical measures, such as windbreaks and ter-races, are rather expensive and are regarded as additional erosion prevention, but never as a stand-alone approach. There is a high need for governmental action to improve education about soil conservation and apply stronger policies regarding the sustainable use of land.