Water runoff can cause soil to erode and wash away. While erosion is a natural process, when it occurs on land that is occupied by humans it can become problematic. The urbanization of the landscape, particularly the soil compaction that occurs under buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. has the potential to increase the threat of erosion.
Four Erosion Types
Of the different types of runoff-induced erosion, there are four that are considered the most prominent.
- Sheet: This is one of the most common forms of erosion with sheets of water moving across the surface. This can result in the transportation of the soil by raindrops. The sheet effect may also cause the soil particles to become loose due to the movement of other soil particles because of the rain intensity.
- Rill: A rill is a narrow, long depression or incision in the soil that has a depth of less than 75mm. In essence, this is a micro-channel that when found along hill slopes may allow for a greater flow of water caused by precipitation.
- Gully: These form as a result of rills that get deeper than 75mm. When the water flows into a gully, it can start to remove the sediment at a faster rate. This is especially true if the gullies are located on a slope. The water flows through a gully at a faster rate compared to flowing over the soil. The result is a dramatic increase in the erosion rate of the soil.
- Channel: This occurs along the banks and beds of stream channels. When the water flow increases, erosion may occur at a greater rate. Such increases in water flow in channels may happen because of soil compaction due to the presence of sidewalks, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that only accelerate the water into streams.
How Brickley Environmental Can Help
The erosion process from sheet to channel is not an inevitable one and is dependent upon several different factors. When left untreated, these may progress over time and become harmful to your environment. Depending on if the property in question is occupied or not will determine the strategy of remediation. Having a great strategy is imperative to find a solution to your soil erosion problem.
For specific recommendations and procedures required to manage your soil contamination and remediation issues, the best solution is to call Brickley Environmental who are the experts and more importantly have the expertise for soil remediation issues throughout all of Southern California.
For more information on soil remediation, visit the Natural Resources Defense Council website here.