Erosional Soil Loss


In general, soil erosion (the pilot study focused only on soil erosion caused by water) involves two processes; namely, detachment or dispersion of soil particles and transportation of particles along a slope gradient (Ben-Hur and Agassi, 1997). The factors promoting the generation of overland flow generally increase the susceptibility of the land to erosion. These include high intensity rain events, steep slopes, absence of vegetative cover, and soils with low infiltration rates (Brady and Weil 2009). Fine textured soils are, therefore, more sensitive to coarse textured soils and duplex soils, with textural discontinuity varying with depth.

This can promote the formation of perched water tables and the generation of lateral discharge, making them exceptionally sensitive to erosion (Guang-Hui et al., 2003; van Tol et al., 2013). Likewise, high sodium content promotes the dispersion of soilparticles and enhances the susceptibility of soils to erosion. Management practices can significantly increase the sensitivity of the land to erosion, for example, overgrazing can result in compaction (lower infiltration rate) and the removal of vegetative cover, through overgrazing and inappropriate agricultural practices, disrupts the soil structure by making the soil more prone to erosion.

However, the perceptions of the people in the areas affected by soil erosion are of high significance. For one thing, such perceptions often determine local people’s attitudes towards rehabilitation and conservation of soil resources. In other words, how well people understand the erosion problem and its implications could determine their involvement in the solution (rehabilitation) and their support in the adoption of alternative conservation practices.