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Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

Soil

Soil is the topmost layer of the Earth. It is essential for plant growth, as it supports life on Earth. Soil is home to many animals like earthworms, ants, moles, snakes, and rabbits. 

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

How is soil formed?

  • Big rocks are broken down by the action of sun, wind ,and water into smaller pieces till a powder is formed. This process is called weathering. 
  • The fine powder mixes with the remains of dead plants and animals to form soil. 
  • It takes millions of years for rocks to change into soil. 
  • Soil is made up of gravel, sand, clay particles ,and humus. Humus is the remains of dead plants and animals found in the soil. 
  • Soil also contains air, water ,and microorganisms like bacteria and fungi

Soil Profile 

A soil profile is the layers of soil. It has five layers — 

  • Organic Horizon (O)
  • Topsoil Horizon (A)
  • Subsoil Horizon (B)
  • Parent Horizon (C)
  • Bedrock Horizon (R)
  • Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science
  • The uppermost layer of the soil is called topsoil. It contains sand, clay, humus, air, and water. Humus provides essential nutrients to plants for growth. 
  • The middle layer is the subsoil. It contains broken pieces of rocks and water. It has very little humus. 
  • The bottom layer is the bedrock. It is deep inside the Earth and contains large pieces of rocks. Not much water is present in this layer.

Soil Erosion

Topsoil is the most fertile layer, as it contains humus. Strong winds and water, and human activity can carry topsoil to new places. This process of wearing off or carrying away of the topsoil by the action of wind or water is called soil erosion. 

  • Water Causes Erosion: When it rains, some rain water soaks into the ground and some evaporates. The rest of the rain water flows over the land. As it flows, it takes soil along with it and thus causes soil erosion. The faster the flow of water, the more soil erosion it causes.

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

  • Wind Causes Erosion: Some places such as deserts or semi-deserts have very few plants covering the ground. Here wind can blow away the dry top soil. The harder the wind blows, the more soil it carries. 

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

  •  Humans Activities Increase Erosion: Humans have cleared large areas of forests for their requirement of wood, living space and farmland. This deforestation has left the land bare and increased soil erosion. Soil that has developed over thousands of years can disappear in months because of deforestation.

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

  • Overgrazing by Cattle: This also removes plants from the soil, leaving it bare, resulting in soil erosion.Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

Soil Conservation

Soil needs to be protected since we depend on it. Nature can take over 100 years to replace 1 cm layer of soil lost by erosion. It is therefore important to take steps to reduce erosion. Protecting soil from erosion is called soil conservation.

Methods of conserving the Soil

  • Afforestation: Trees and plants bind the soil with their roots. They offer the best protection against soil erosion. Planting trees or afforestation especially in hilly areas is a very effective method of soil conservation.  
  • Step Farming in Hilly Areas: To reduce soil erosion, farming in hilly areas is done by cutting steps in the slopes. This reduces the speed with which the water flows down. Also, some of the soil eroded from one step gets deposited on the next step.

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

  • Keeping Bare Soil Covered After Harvesting: On the flat ground or plains, soil erosion occurs in farmlands after a crop is harvested. The soil then lies bare and can be easily eroded by water and wind.
  • Building Embankments Along Riverbanks: Strong embankments are made along the banks of rivers to reduce erosion. This prevents soil erosion in two ways.
    Firstly the constant erosion of the soil from the river banks is prevented.
    Secondly, the embankments prevent the flooding of land by the rivers.

Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

The document Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science is a part of the Class 5 Course Science Class 5.
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FAQs on Soil Erosion and Conservation Class 5 Notes Science

1. What is soil erosion?
Ans. Soil erosion is the process in which soil is removed or displaced from its original location, often by wind, water, or other natural forces.
2. How does soil erosion impact the environment?
Ans. Soil erosion can lead to loss of fertile soil, decreased soil quality, sedimentation in water bodies, and increased risk of landslides and flooding.
3. What are some common causes of soil erosion?
Ans. Common causes of soil erosion include deforestation, overgrazing, improper agricultural practices, construction activities, and natural disasters.
4. How can soil erosion be prevented or controlled?
Ans. Soil erosion can be prevented or controlled through practices such as planting cover crops, building terraces, contour plowing, maintaining vegetation along water bodies, and implementing proper soil conservation techniques.
5. Why is soil conservation important?
Ans. Soil conservation is important to maintain soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, preserve biodiversity, and ensure sustainable land use for future generations.
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