Erosion is a natural and continuous process that occurs on the earth’s surface, which takes place due to the effect of external geological agents. It happens more intensely when the surface is exposed, which means that it is more exposed to the elements. In soils where it doesn¡t exist any alteration, the floors are protected by the vegetal mantle. So when the rain falls on a surface covered by grass or leaves, some of the moisture evaporates before the water gets into the ground. The trees and the grass make of windbreaks and the lattice of the roots helps to maintain the floors in front of the rain and the wind.
Soil erosion can be caused by:
- The impact of rainwater, which can be: furrow erosion, laminar erosion, erosion in gullies and mass movements, such as landslides.
- Wind power that usually affects less than the previous, but in areas of high winds such as Almeria, can have an important effect.
- Situations such as overgrazing, deforestation, works, excessive cultivation and expansion of metropolitan areas.
Erosion due to man-related causes is often linked to radical changes involving very accelerated soil losses, at a rate that natural processes can not regenerate, usually caused by the destruction of natural vegetation, inadequate agricultural practices or poor Urban planning among other causes.
The soil and the vegetation (and therefore the fauna) form an indissoluble whole, since the one without the other is profoundly altered, and the vegetation without the soil can not prosper; Therefore both elements must be contemplated in any activity that is undertaken related to them. It should be noted that soil erosion along with degradation of the soil (loss of quality) are the main causes of desertification.