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.

Click here for the Splash Animation

Animation by http://serc.carleton.edu    Image link http://www.public.asu.edu/~mschmeec/rainsplash.html