Hydrosphere: Water and Soil Essay

1) A hydrosphere in physical geography describes the combined mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet. The total mass of the Earth’s hydrosphere is about 1. 4 ? 1024 grams, which is about 0. 023% of the Earth’s total mass. Around 2 ? 1019 grams of this is the Earth’s atmosphere. In addition, 71% of the Earth’s surface, an area of 361 million square kilometers, is covered by ocean. Having liquid water makes the Earth a special place. Our planet has a very nice temperature range that allows water to remain in its liquid state.

If we were a colder object like Pluto, it would not matter how much water there was on the planet; it would all be frozen. On the other hand, if we were on a very hot planet, all of the water would be in a gaseous state. Water vapor and solid water are useless to the living organisms found on Earth. The world’s oceans contain 97% of the water in the hydrosphere, most of which is salt water. Ice caps, like that found covering Antarctica, and glaciers that occupy high alpine locations, compose a little less than 2% of all water found on earth.

Although that is a small amount, the water stored as ice in glaciers would have a great impact on the environment if it were to melt into a liquid. Some people fear that global warming will cause the melting and collapse of large ice sheets resulting in sea level rise. Rising sea levels could devastate coastal cities, displace millions of people, and wreak havoc on freshwater systems and habitats. The Earth is not the only solar body that is thought to have a hydrosphere. A thick hydrosphere is thought to exist around the Jovian moon Europa.

The outer layer of this hydrosphere is almost entirely frozen, but current models predict that there is an ocean up to 100 km in depth underneath the ice. This ocean remains in a liquid form due to the tidal flexing of the moon in its orbit around Jupiter. The volume of Europa’s hydrosphere is 3?1018 meters cubed, which is about 2. 3 times that of the Earths’ hydrosphere. It has been theorized that the Jovian moon Ganymede and the Saturn moon Enceladus may also possess sub-surface oceans. The hydrosphere is a delicate aspect of the Earth. Many things have to remain in balance in order for it to remain in stasis.

There needs to be more study to extrapolate a definite cause and effect between the hydrosphere and global warming. There is a great article on Universe Today that shows the possibility of a hydrosphere on Mars and another on the effects of cosmic rays on the Earth’s hydrosphere. Astronomy Cast offers a solid episode on terra-forming Mars which would require creating a hydrosphere. 2) Discontinuous layer of water at or near the Earth’s surface. It includes all liquid and frozen surface waters, groundwater held in soil and rock, and atmospheric water vapour.

Virtually all of these waters are in constant circulation through the hydrologic cycle. Although the components of the hydrosphere are undergoing continuous change of state and location, the total water budget remains in balance. The components of the hydrosphere have been seriously affected by the water-polluting activities of modern society. 3) A hydrosphere is the total amount of water on a planet. The hydrosphere includes water that is on the surface of the planet, underground, and in the air. A planet’s hydrosphere can be liquid, vapor, or ice. On Earth, liquid water exists on the surface in the form ofoceans, lakes and rivers.

It also exists below ground—asgroundwater, in wells and aquifers. Water vapor is most visible as clouds and fog. The frozen part of Earth’s hydrosphere is made of ice:glaciers, ice caps and icebergs. The frozen part of the hydrosphere has its own name, the cryosphere. Water moves through the hydrosphere in a cycle. Water collects in clouds, then falls to Earth in the form of rain orsnow. This water collects in rivers, lakes and oceans. Then itevaporates into the atmosphere to start the cycle all over again. This is called the water cycle. 4) hydrosphere, discontinuous layer of water at or near the Earth’s surface.

It includes all liquid and frozen surface waters, groundwater held in soil and rock, and atmospheric water vapour. Water is the most abundant substance at the surface of the Earth. About 1. 4 billion cubic kilometres (326 million cubic miles) of water in liquid and frozen form make up the oceans, lakes, streams, glaciers, and groundwaters found there. It is this enormous volume of water, in its various manifestations, that forms the discontinuous layer, enclosing much of the terrestrial surface, known as the hydrosphere. Central to any discussion of the hydrosphere is the concept of the hydrologic cycle.

This cycle consists of a group of reservoirs containing water, the processes by which water is transferred from one reservoir to another (or transformed from one state to another), and the rates of transfer associated with such processes. These transfer paths penetrate the entire hydrosphere, extending upward to about 15 kilometres (nine miles) in the Earth’s atmosphere and downward to depths on the order of five kilometres in its crust. This article examines the processes of the hydrologic cycle and discusses the way in which the various reservoirs of the hydrosphere are related through the hydrologic cycle.

It also describes the biogeochemical properties of the waters of the Earth at some length and considers the distribution of global water resources and their utilization and pollution by human society. Details concerning the major water environments that make up the hydrosphere are provided in the articles ocean,lake, river, and ice. See also climate for specific information about the impact of climatic factors on the hydrologic cycle. The principal concerns and methods of hydrology and its various allied disciplines are summarized in Earth sciences. Lithosphere 1) Lithosphere

The word lithosphere is derived from the word sphere, combined with the Greek word lithos, meaning rock . The lithosphere is the solid outer section of Earth, which includes Earth’s crust (the “skin” of rock on the outer layer of planet Earth), as well as the underlying cool, dense, and rigid upper part of the upper mantle. The lithosphere extends from the surface of Earth to a depth of about 44–62 mi (70–100 km). This relatively cool and rigid section of Earth is believed to “float” on top of the warmer, non-rigid, and partially melted material directly below.

Earth is made up of several layers. The outermost layer is called Earth’s crust. The thickness of the crust varies. Under the oceans , the crust is only about 3–5 mi (5–10 km) thick. Under the continents, however, the crust thickens to about 22 mi (35 km) and reaches depths of up to 37 mi (60 km) under some mountain ranges. Beneath the crust is a layer of rock material that is also solid, rigid, and relatively cool, but is assumed to be made up of denser material. This layer is called the upper part of the upper mantle, and varies in depth from about 31–62 mi (50–100 km) below Earth’s surface.

The combination of the crust and this upper part of the upper mantle, which are both comprised of relatively cool and rigid rock material, is called the lithosphere. Below the lithosphere, the temperature is believed to reach 1,832°F (1,000°C), which is warm enough to allow rock material to flow if pressurized. Seismic evidence suggests that there is also some molten material at this depth (perhaps about 10%). This zone which lies directly below the lithosphere is called theasthenosphere , from the Greek word asthenes, meaning weak.

The lithosphere, including both the solid portion of the upper mantle and Earth’s crust, is carried “piggyback” on top of the weaker, less rigid asthenosphere, which seems to be in continual motion. This motion creates stress in the rigid rock layers above it, forcing the slabs or plates of the lithosphere to jostle against each other, much like ice cubes floating in a bowl of swirling water . This motion of the lithospheric plates is known as plate tectonics , and is responsible for many of the movements seen on Earth’s surface today including earthquakes, certain types of volcanic activity, and continental drift. ) Every rocky planet has a lithosphere, but what is lithosphere? It is the rigid outermost shell of a rocky planet. Here on Earth the lithosphere contains the crust and upper mantle. The Earth has two types of lithosphere: oceanic and continental. The lithosphere is broken up into tectonic plates.

Oceanic lithosphere consists mainly of mafic(rich in magnesium and iron) crust and ultramafic(over 90% mafic) mantle and is denser than continental lithosphere. It thickens as it ages and moves away from the mid-ocean ridge. This thickening occurs by conductive cooling, which converts ot asthenosphere into lithospheric mantle. It was less dense than the asthenosphere for tens of millions of years, but after this becomes increasingly denser. The gravitational instability of mature oceanic lithosphere has the effect that when tectonic plates come together, oceanic lithosphere invariably sinks underneath the overriding lithosphere. New oceanic lithosphere is constantly being produced at mid-ocean ridges and is recycled back to the mantle at subduction zones, so oceanic lithosphere is much younger than its continental counterpart.

The oldest oceanic lithosphere is about 170 million years old compared to parts of the continental lithosphere which are billions of years old. The continental lithosphere is also called the continental crust. It is the layer of igneous, sedimentary rock that forms the continents and the continental shelves. This layer consists mostly of granitic rock. Continental crust is also less dense than oceanic crust although it is considerably thicker(25 to 70 km versus 7-10 km). About 40% of the Earth’s surface is now covered by continental crust, but continental crust makes up about 70% of the volume of Earth’s crust.

Most scientists believe that there was no continental crust originally on the Earth, but the continental crust ultimately derived from the fractional differentiation of oceanic crust over the eons. This process was primarily a result of volcanism and subduction. We may not walk directly the lithosphere, but it shapes every topographical feature the we see. The movement of the tectonic plates has presented many different shapes for our planet over the eons and will continue to change our geography until our planet ceases to exist. Trivias 1) Atmosphere

The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and other gases (1%) that surrounds Earth. 2) Lithosphere Temperatures increase by 35°C for every 1000 m you move down through thelithosphere. 3) Hydrosphere The oceans of the World contain nearly 20 million tons of gold 4) Sun If the Sun were to become a neutron star, it’s rotational period would be 1,000 times per second! 5) Moon There are over 500,000 craters on the moon that can be seen from the planet Earth. 6) Earth The total land area of the earth’s surface is estimated at 148,647,000 sq km. Scientist Sir William Edmond Logan|

Born| 20 April 1798 Montreal, Quebec| Died| 22 June 1875 (aged 77) Castle Malgwyn, Wales| Citizenship| United Kingdom| Nationality| Scottish, Canadian| Fields| Geology| Institutions| Geologist, H M Geological Survey Director of the Geological Survey of Canada (1842-70)| Alma mater| University of Edinburgh| Known for| “Geology of Canada” (1863)| Sir William Edmond Logan FRSE FRS FGS (20 April 1798 – 22 June 1875) was a Scottish-Canadian geologist. Logan was born in Montreal, Quebec, and educated at the High School in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh (graduated 1817).

He started teaching himself geology in 1831, when he took over the running of a copper works in Swansea. He produced a geological map of the south Walescoalfield. Based on this research, in 1840 he presented to the Geological Society of London his paper “On the character of the beds of clay lying immediately below the coal-seams of South Wales, and on the occurrence of coal-boulders in the Pennant Grit of that district. ” This paper suggested his opinion that the layer of clay under the coalfield was the old soil in which grew the plants from which the coal was formed.

His abilities as a geologist were noticed, and in 1842 he was asked to establish the Geological Survey of Canada. In 1855, he recruited Robert Barlowas the survey’s chief draughtsman. He continued as director until 1869. During this time he described the Laurentian rocks of the Laurentian Mountains in Canada and of the Adirondacks in the state of New York. He discovered Logan’s Line, the demarcation between the heavily folded Appalachian Mountains and the flat sedimentary rocks, laid down during thePaleozoic Era, lying inland of them. Honours

Over his illustrious career he received 27 medals including the Legion of Honor from Emperor Napoleon III of France in 1855 and a knighthood fromQueen Victoria in 1856. In the same year he was awarded the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society of London. After his retirement in 1869 he settled in Pembrokeshire in west Wales where he died. He was interred in the churchyard in the village of Cilgerran. Posthumous honours * Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, was named in 1890 by I. C. Russell of the U. S. Geological Survey in his honour. 1] * The mineral Weloganite, first found in Montreal, Canada, was named in his honour. * The Geological Association of Canada awards the Logan Medal annually as its highest honour. Logan, Sir William Edmond, 1798–1875, Canadian geologist. Educated in England, he managed (1831–38) coal mines and a copper smelter in Wales. In addition to making studies of clays underlying coal seams, he made extensive geological maps and sections. These were used for the first geological map of Britain by H. T. De la Beche. As head of the Canadian Geological Survey (1842–70), Logan became known as the father of Precambrian geology.

He was the first to recognize altered Paleozoic rock in S Canada and first to discover reptile remains from the Carboniferous period. He wrote, with T. S. Hunt, The Geology of Canada (1863). Conservation Water 100 Ways To Conserve There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you. * #2 When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water. * #3 Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings. #4 Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. * #5 Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. * #6 Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips. * #7 Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps. * #8 Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time. * #9 Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.

For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain. * #11 Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks. * #12 Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation. * #13 Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap. * #14 Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money. #15 Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time. * #16 If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model. * #17 Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants. * #18 If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption. * #19 We’re more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks. * #20

If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks. * #21 Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water. * #22 When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They’re more water and energy efficient. * #23 Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month. * #24 Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models. * #25 Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting.

A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped. * #26 When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants. * #27 Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. * #29 When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up. * #30 Walkways and patios provide space that doesn’t ever need to be watered.

These useful “rooms” can also add value to your property. * #31 Collect water from your roof to water your garden. * #32 Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash. * #33 Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering. * #34 Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining. * #35 Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.

Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it’s needed. * #37 Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save 140 gallons a week. * #38 Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region. * #39 When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load. * #40 Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use. * #41 Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape. Use a water-efficient showerhead.

They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month. * #43 Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. * #44 Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates. * #45 Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance. * #46 Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home. * #47 To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times. #48 Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others. * #49 Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water. * #50 Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape. * #51 Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those spraying water into the air. * #52 Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. * #53 Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water. * #54

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month. * #55 Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly. * #56 Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults. * #57 Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain. * #58 Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons a minute. * #59 If your toilet flapper doesn’t close after flushing, replace it. #60 Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets. Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water use plant for year-round landscape color and save up to 550 gallons each year.

* #62 Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs. * #63 Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak. * #64 If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. #65 Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry it’s time to water. * #66 If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions. * #67 When you save water, you save money on your utility bills too. Saving water is easy for everyone to do. * #68 When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most. * #69 Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps. * #70 Bathe your young children together. * #71

Consult with your local nursery for information on plant selection and placement for optimum outdoor water savings. * #72 Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting. * #73 Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings. * #74 Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time. Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time. * #76 Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings. * #77

Make suggestions to your employer about ways to save water and money at work. * #78 Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses. * #79 Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 100 gallons every time. * #80 Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors. * #81 If your toilet was installed before 1992, reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the tank. * #82 Setting cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills saves both water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills. #83 Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors. * #84 Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation. * #85 Report broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water provider. * #86 Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains. * #87 Plant with finished compost to add water-holding and nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil. * #88

Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground. * #89 Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more. * #90 Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering. * #91 One more way to get eight glasses of water a day is to re-use the water left over from cooked or steamed foods to start a scrumptious and nutritious soup. Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements. * #93

Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month. * #94 Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water. * #95 When shopping for a new clothes washer, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some of these can save up to 20 gallons per load, and energy too. * #96 Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it. * #97 Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface. * #98 When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed. #99 Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. One inch of water on one square foot of grass equals two-thirds of a gallon of water. * #100 Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 300 gallons a month. * #101 When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs. * #102 If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink.

Drop them in a house plant instead. * #103 To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower. #104 While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels. * #105 When backflushing your pool, consider using the water on your landscaping. * #106 For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow. * #107 Throw trimmings and peelings from fruits and vegetables into your yard compost to prevent using the garbage disposal. * #108 When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant. #109 Have your plumber re-route your gray water to trees and gardens rather than letting it run into the sewer line. Check with your city codes, and if it isn’t allowed in your area, start a movement to get that changed. * #110 Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants. * #111 When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather. * #112 Look for products bearing the EPA WaterSense Label for items that been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance.

Water conservation encompasses the policies, strategies and activities to manage fresh water as a sustainable resource to protect the water environment and to meet current and future human demand. Population, household size and growth and affluence all affect how much water is used. Factors such as climate change will increase pressures on natural water resources especially in manufacturing and agricultural irrigation.  Goals The goals of water conservation efforts include as follows: * Sustainability.

To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate. * Energy conservation. Water pumping, delivery and waste water treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy. In some regions of the world over 15% of total electricity consumption is devoted to water management. * Habitat conservation. Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating waterfowl, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructures.

Soil 10 Ways to Conserve Soil Soil is one of the most important natural resources. We need to devise and implement ways of conserving soil. Here is an overview of 10 ways to conserve soil. Soil is one of the most important natural resources. It is one of the three main factors responsible for plant growth, the others being sunlight and water. Plants extract water and nutrients from the soil. A food chain, as we know, starts from plants and plants need soil for their survival. So soil is an important constituent of the ecological system and its conservation is essential.

But the importance of soil conservation is relatively less talked about as compared to conservation of water and other natural resources. The almost-omnipresent soil is taken for granted. We don’t pay much attention to conserving it. We rarely even think of it as a natural resource or as a part of the natural wealth that needs to be preserved. The idea of conserving soil is to prevent it from being eroded and from losing its fertility due to alteration in its chemical composition. Here are some ways to conserve soil. 1Plant Trees: We all know that roots of trees firmly hold on to the soil.

As trees grow tall, they also keep rooting deeper into the soil. As the roots of trees spread deep into the layers of soil, they hold it tightly, thus preventing soil erosion. Soil under a vegetative cover is saved from erosion due to wind as this cover acts as a wind barrier. 2Build Terraces: Terracing is a very good method of soil conservation. A terrace is a leveled section of a hilly cultivated area. Owing to its unique structure, it prevents rapid surface runoff of water. Terracing gives the landmass a stepped appearance, thus slowing the washing down of soil.

Dry stonewalling is a method used to create terraces in which stone structures are made without using mortar for binding. 3No-till Farming: The process of preparing soil for plowing is known as tilling. No-till farming is a way of growing crops without disturbing it through tillage. The process of tilling is beneficial in mixing fertilizers in the soil, making rows and preparing the surface for sowing. But the tilling activity can lead to compaction of soil, loss of organic matter in the soil and the death of soil organisms. No-till farming is a way to prevent the soil from this harm. Contour Plowing: This practice of farming on slopes takes into account the slope gradient and the elevation of soil along the slope. It is the method of plowing across the contour lines of a slope. This method helps in slowing the water runoff and prevents soil from being washed away along the slope. Contour plowing also helps in percolation of water in the soil. 5Crop Rotation: Some pathogens tend to build up in soil if the same crops are cultivated again and again. Continuous cultivation of the same crop also leads to imbalance in the fertility demands of the soil. To save the soil from these adverse effects, crop rotation is practiced.

It is a method of growing a series of dissimilar crops in an area. Crop rotation also helps in the improvement of soil structure and fertility. 6Maintain Soil pH: The contamination of soil by addition of acidic or basic pollutants and due to acid rains has an adverse effect on the soil pH. Soil pH is an indicator of the level of nutrients in soil. The uptake of nutrients by plants also depends on the pH of soil. Maintaining the correct value of soil pH, is thus essential for soil conservation. 7Water the Soil: We water plants, we water the crops, but do we water the soil? We seldom do.

Watering soil is a good measure of soil conservation. Watering the soil along with plants growing in it is a way to prevent soil erosion caused by wind. 8Salinity Management: The salinity of soil increases due to excessive accumulation of salts in the soil. This has a negative effect on the metabolism of crops. The salinity of soil is detrimental to the vegetative life in it. The death of vegetation leads to soil erosion. Hence, salinity management is an indirect way of conserving soil. 9Promote Helpful Soil Organisms: Nitrogen-fixing and denitrifying bacteria are important constituents of the nitrogen cycle. They live in soil.

Bacteria and fungi help keep the soil healthy. Organisms like earthworms help decompose organic material in the soil. They aid soil aeration and help it maintain porosity. Rodents too, help soil the same way. This increases the absorbing capacity of soil. Earthworms, through aeration of soil, enhance the availability of macronutrients. These helpful organisms boost soil fertility and help in soil conservation. 10Grow Indigenous Crops: Planting native crops is beneficial for soil conservation. If non-native plants are grown, fields should be bordered by indigenous crops to prevent soil erosion, thus achieving soil conservation.

Some More Tips Soil conservation efforts are mainly aimed at preventing soil erosion and keeping it conducive for plant growth. Contouring and terracing are methods prescribed by the US Natural Resources Conservation Service. Developing or maintaining riparian zones helps conserve soil, as these zone prevent soil erosion from the banks of rivers or streams. A riparian zone is an interface between a waterbody and landmass. Vegetation on the riparian zones helps maintain biodiversity and serves as a food source for animals inhabiting the area.

Mulch is a covering placed over soil to protect it from erosion and help the soil retain water content. Mulch also serves as a good source of nutrients for plants and helps them sustain in times of drought and dry weather. Mulching is a good practice for conservation of soil moisture.10 Ways to Conserve Soil The task in finding ways to stop soil erosion becomes one of finding ways to conserve soil. There are several methods of soil conservation that can be achieved through agricultural practices and measures you take at home. Agriculture Soil Conservation . Practice no till farming. With no till farming, crops are allowed to remain rather than being plowed under at the end of the season. This practice keeps soils anchored in place rather than having bare ground exposed to wind and water. 2. Use terrace farming. This type of farming uses the topography of the land to slow water flow through a series of terraces. This manipulation of the water flow prevents it from gathering speed and washing soil away from farmlands. 3. Practice contour farming. Contour farming replicates the effects of terrace farming, but on a smaller scale.

Rather than planting crops in straight vertical rows, crops are planted following the contour of the landscape. Crops planted up and down hillsides create pathways for water to flow. Crops planted parallel to the land slow the flow of water that prevents soil erosion. Home Methods 4. Reduce impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces like driveways and patios allow precipitation to flow freely over them. Water flow gains momentum when moving over such surfaces and can then erode stream banks and lakeshores. A good compromise is to use paving stones rather than a concrete slab for your patio to allow the water to percolate down into the soil. . Plant a rain garden. A rain garden is a shallow depression in your yard, which will collect precipitation washing over impervious surfaces. It prevents soil erosion and gives you an opportunity to grow wetland plants. 6. Use a rain barrel. You can place a rain barrel underneath a downspout to collect the water that runs off of your roof. Your roof, after all, is another impervious surface. You can use the water you collect for your lawn and garden. In this way, you can conserve water and soil. Resource Planning 7. Plant windbreaks. Windbreaks prevent soil erosion by slowing the force of the wind over open ground.

You can plant trees or shrubs in your windbreak. In addition to preventing erosion, these plantings will prevent snow from drifting onto your driveway or into the road. They can also protect your home from wind damage. 8. Restore wetlands. Wetlands are one of the most effective ways to prevent soil erosion. Wetlands act as natural sponges, absorbing rainwater and preventing it from carrying the soil away. They also provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife and help prevent water pollution. 9. Plant buffer strips along stream banks. Buffer strips help hold stream banks intact during times of flooding.

They also prevent runoff from entering waterways. Buffer strips can include a mixture of grasses, shrubs, and trees. 10. Re-establish forest cover. The re-establishment of forest cover provides an extensive, tree-root network that offers a long-term solution to soil erosion. It can function both as a windbreak and a means to anchor soils in place. Soil conservation is a set of management strategies for prevention of soil being eroded from the Earth’s surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse, aciilidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination.

It is a component of environmental soil science. Decisions regarding appropriate crop rotation, cover crops, and planted windbreaks are central to the ability of surface soils to retain their integrity, both with respect to erosive forces and chemical change from nutrient depletion. Crop rotation is simply the conventional alternation of crops on a given field, so that nutrient depletion is avoided from repetitive chemical uptake/deposition of single crop growth.

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