Soil Erosion

Photograph by Lynn Betts, NRCS

Heavy rains in northwest Iowa washed away soil, leaving this scarred tableau. This type of erosion, termed sheet-and-rill erosion, occurs when there is insufficient vegetation to hold soil in place. As rain falls, it forms sheets of surface water that transport soil away. As more water accumulates, it forms runoff channels called rills, which further displace soil.