Symposium on land erosion: Introduction

Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union



One of the very obvious geologic phenomena that is continuously in operation throughout the Earth's land surface is erosion, the process of wearing away the soil or the surface mantle. The falling of rain drops on an unprotected slope, the flow of water across land or in a channel, the borings of a rodent, the expansion of a root, the pull of gravity, the gouging of a glacier, or the impinging of wind on an open surface are some of the forces continually at work in this erosion process. The tendency of these forces is to bring everything to a common level and the moment a point of land or a continent rises above its surroundings, gravity, rain, wind, and all the other forces set to work, bringing it back to the level of its nieghbor. The poetic expression “the everlasting hills” is an illusion, for these erosion forces have been operative since the dawn of geologic history and the evidence is conclusive that in this sequence of time numerous generations of hills and mountain ranges have been uplifted and then razed by erosion, the waste and rock debris of one range forming the source material for its successor. We could not have the great deposits of alluvium and the thick beds of conglomerate, sandstones, and shales that occur at present throughout the Earth without erosion to furnish the source material.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Symposium on land erosion: Introduction
Series title Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
DOI 10.1029/TR035i002p00243
Volume 35
Issue 2
Year Published 1954
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Description 2 p.
First page 243
Last page 244
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