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Water Erosion

Types of water erosion

Types of Water Erosion

sheet erosion
rill erosion
gully erosion
splash erosion

  1. SHEET EROSION: Removal of thin layer of soil from a large area.
    In sheet erosion a thin layer of soil is removed from a large area.
    Image by M. Mamo, Labels added by UNL
  2. RILL EROSION: A series of small channels on a slope carved by running water.
    Rill erosion in a field.
    Image by NRCS, Labels added by UNL
    Rill erosion at a construction site.
    Image by M. Mamo, Labels added by UNL
  3. GULLY EROSION: Large, wide channels carved by running water. As a rule of thumb, a gully is large enough that it cannot be smoothed out with conventional tillage equipment.
    Gully erosion in a pasture. Image by NRCS
  4. SPLASH EROSION: Direct movement of soil by splashing. Soil particles can be thrown as far as 3 feet by raindrop splash.
    The impact of a water droplet can dislodge soil particles making them susceptible to erosion. Image by NRCS
    Click on the Splash Animation
    Animation by



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