Water 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

Dry sand particles being dispersed due to rain drop impact.