Erosion is the removal of soil particles by the forces of
wind and water. Wind and water erosion can threaten the long-term productivity
of soils through the loss of valuable, nutrient-rich topsoil. Erosion occurs
naturally, but some land use practices can accelerate its rate. Soil erosion is
estimated to reduce annual net profits by an average of $12 per cropped hectare.
Where soils are deep enough, topsoil can be rebuilt, but only at a very slow
rate (generally much slower than the rate of soil erosion).
Department of the Environment. State of the Environment Report, Terrestrial Ecosystems. Edmonton: n.p., 2001. With permission from Alberta Environment.