Standard Article

Soil Erosion and Conservation

Hydrological Processes

  1. Sheng Li1,
  2. David A. Lobb2,
  3. Kevin H.D. Tiessen3

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vas031.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Li, S., Lobb, D. A. and Tiessen, K. H. 2013. Soil Erosion and Conservation . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, New Brunswick, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada

  3. 3

    International Development Research Centre, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental concerns worldwide. Continued soil erosion can result in degraded soil quality and ultimately reduced crop yields and profitability. In addition, eroded soil particles and attached nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and toxins, transported off-site, may contaminate surface water and air quality. In cultivated fields, soil erosion can be caused by water, wind, or directly by tillage. Individual soil erosion processes have characteristic signatures on different landform elements across the landscapes. Observed soil erosion in a field is the integrated result of all forms of soil erosion processes and their interactions. Agronomic measures, soil management, mechanical measures, and other soil conservation practices have been developed and used to control the adverse effects of soil erosion – influencing either the erosivity of the erosion forces or the erodibility of the soil landscape, or both. However, soil conservation practices developed for one erosion process do not necessarily work well on other erosion processes. The selection and implementation of soil conservation practices need to account for all erosion processes if we are to design environmentally sustainable systems.


  • water erosion;
  • wind erosion;
  • tillage erosion;
  • total soil erosion;
  • soil conservation