To demonstrate the erosion effect of water on soil.
Erosion is the process of displacing solids, such as rock, sediment, brush, and other particles, by forces of wind, water, or ice. Soil erosion is a very big environmental problem. It's estimated that 40% of the world's agricultural land is severely eroded because of drought, deforestation and climate change.
- Two clear and flat patches of earth.
- Large drinking glass
- Pen or pencil
- Journal (to record your results)
- Small hand shovel (optional)
Estimated Experiment Time
Less than 10 minutes.
- 1. Clear 2 sections of ground in your backyard or a nearby field by removing debris, grass, and rock. The patches should be at least a foot apart. You may need to use a small hand shovel to help you clear the debris.
- 2. Flatten the patches you cleared so that the ground is even.
- 3. Fill your glass with water. Hold the glass about 6 inches from the ground over one of your patches and pour out the water. Note what happens to the soil in your journal.
- 4. Fill your glass with water again. Move to your second patch of cleared earth. This time hold the glass about 12 inches from the ground and pour out the water. Note what happens. Are the results the same is before? Did the water affect the earth differently?
You may need to use a small hand shovel (like the ones gardeners use) to help you make a clear patch on the earth. To flatten the patch you cleared you can just stomp on the ground.
Compare and contrast the variances between the water being poured from 6 inches and the water being poured from 12 inches. How did the earth get affected with each one? What was the difference when you poured the water from 12 inches? What if you were to pour the water from 24 inches? How about if you were to pour the water on a patch of earth that was not cleared? What do you suppose would happen if you used a bucket of water on a larger patch of earth?
When land is cleared of both tree and brush, the soil is eroded much quicker. This is because the trees and brush help bind the earth and hold it together. When the water is poured from a higher point, the gravitational pull causes the water to erode a greater amount of soil as it hits the ground at a greater force.
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