Meaning of Erosion

What is Erosion:

The erosion refers, in a general sense, to wear or destruction verified on the surface of a body due to the continuous or violent action of friction with another body. It comes from the Latin erosĭo, erosionniswhich means ‘gnawing’, ‘corrosion’.

In the field of natural Sciences, erosion designates the set of phenomena that intervene in the wear, destruction and modification of the surface structures or of relief of the earth’s crust caused by the influence of external agents, such as water, ice, wind, or by direct action of living beings, both plant and animal.

The erosion can address factors physical levelsuch as temperature variations, sun exposure, freezing or electrical discharges, as well as processes related to the chemical alteration or breakdown of the minerals in the rocks, where water plays an important role.

The importance of erosion it is that it shapes the appearance of everything that is visible and what is not on the earth’s surface: a mountain, a valley, an island, a cliff, the shore of the beach. Erosion carves the landscape.

In addition, erosion can characterize the superficial injuries suffered on the skin or the mucosa caused by constant friction, for example, when the shoe constantly rubs against a part of the foot when walking.

In artillery, erosion can also refer to deterioration of the muzzle of a firearm originated by the work to which the metal is subjected due to the shots.

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In a figurative sense, erosion also alludes to the reputation or influence of people or institutions that are worn out or diminished: “The credibility of the judge with respect to the case began to erode from his last public statements.”

types of erosion

In natural Sciencesthere are different types of erosion according to its characteristics.

water erosion

The water erosion encompasses all phenomena characterized by water action as an erosive agent and has in the rains (Rainwater) its main trigger. We can verify its action mainly in the drawing of the channels of the rivers and deltas (river erosion), in the formation of valleys, lakes and waterfalls, but also in the creation of canyons, caves and caverns, due to groundwater currents in regions with calcareous composition terrains (karst erosion).

In coastal regions, the chemical characteristics of the water vary and its corrosive capacity increases considerably. This type of erosion is known as Marine. Salt water, waves, tides and the materials it sets in motion are responsible for drawing the profile of our coasts, producing cliffs and modeling our beaches. To level submarinedue to the internal currents of the seas and oceans, the erosion it also fulfills its role as a molding agent of the earth’s crust.

Likewise, in the coldest regions, we find the erosion glacier, caused by the movement of the masses of ice that wear and polish the rocks with which they come into contact. They originate valleys with very steep slopes (U-shaped), as well as in the coastal regions they produce the so-called fjords.

Eolic erosion

The eolic erosion refers to the processes of wear and modification of the earth’s surface, caused by the wind action. This drags with it sand and other solid materials and, by rubbing, wears down and polishes the rocks it finds in its path. It is essential in desert regions and coastal areas.

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anthropogenic erosion

The anthropogenic erosion record the significance of the action of man and its impact when determining the environmental conditions for its habitat. The deforestation fields, agriculture, mining and engineering works can result in the soil destructionthe decrease in the cultivation capacity of the land, the diversion of the channel of a river, the desertificationamong other things.