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Book: Determinants of Soil Loss Tolerance
Published by: American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America

 

This chapter in DETERMINANTS OF SOIL LOSS TOLERANCE

  1.  p. 15-22
    asa special publication 45.
    Determinants of Soil Loss Tolerance

    B.L. Schmidt (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-311-2

     
    Published: 1982


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doi:10.2134/asaspecpub45.c2

Natural Erosion in the USA

  1. S. A. Schumm and
  2. M. D. Harvey1

Abstract

The time required for soil development is intermediate between that required for nonrenewable mineral resources, metals, coal, gas, petroleum, and for renewable resources, forests, water, crops. For example, soils form naturally at rates of 0.5 to 0.02 mm a year. Natural erosion is highly variable in space and time ranging from essentially zero to an average maximum of 1.0 mm per year. Average man-induced erosion is 2.0 mm per year, which is far greater than natural rates of soil formation and natural erosion. Therefore, agricultural soils are being depleted, and they must be considered to be a nonrenewable resource.

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Copyright © 1982. Copyright 1982 by the American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA