Erosion Soil erosion is a natural process. Human interaction has in many cases speed up the process of erosion. What have we done to speed up the process? Clearing vegetation introduced species (rabbit, cow, buffalo ) Increased water sheeting
Examples: Beach Creek erosion Dust storm Land slips
Soil erosion removes the topsoil. The removal of the topsoil removes nutrients from the location, which are essential for plant growth and animal nutrition. The soil also clogs up the rivers and creeks, which affects the river wild life and causing lowland flooding. Possible solutions to erosion:
Mostly caused by irrigation and tree clearing. Over irrigation causes water tables to rise, causing water logging and root rot. In dry areas salt is brought to the surface with the rising of the watertable which in turn kills off the plants that cannot tolerate the salty conditions. Solutions?
Introduced Marine Species Many marine species are accidentally introduced. They have arrived in the ballast water of ships. Ships enter ports often only carrying water in their hulls for stability in the water. They then discharge this water (only with many foreign species) into the harbors when loading up with other materials Solutions?
Loss of River flow Hydroelectricity, irrigation and town water supplies have dramatically altered river flows. E.g. Snowy river (hydroelectricity) West Barwon dam (town water) Murray river (irrigation) Solutions?
Vegetation Loss Carbon sinks – air quality, trees absorb the carbon from, the atmosphere Affects habitats for birds animals and insects. Water quality and quantity, increases erosion From grazing, housing, logging, mining, crops
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (worksheet) Greenhouse effect: global warming caused by the release ‘greenhouse gases’ that act as a thermal blanket trapping heat. Gases include Carbon dioxide, methane, and CFC’s. All occur naturally but have risen dramatically since the industrial revolution.