Erosion: History

Authored by: Andrew S. Goudie

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120010089

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Abstract

Erosion is a process that has operated since the earth was created. It has never been easy to separate the role of climatic fluctuations in causing soil erosion from the role of human activities, and this has spawned long-running debates about the origin of phases of slope erosion, valley incision, and valley sedimentology. Difficulties of determining how rates have been changed by human activities have also been bedeviled by an absence of direct long-term monitoring data. However, erosion leads to sedimentation, and so the study of rates of sediment accumulation in lakes, swamps, estuaries, reservoirs, and river flood plains provides a means of obtaining long-term data from which erosion rates can be inferred.

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