Soil erosion can be defined as the degradation of the top layer of soil by water or wind. There are several reasons that could lead to soil erosion. In some instances, it can be a naturally occurring process. There are also occasions where it is intensified by farming or mining activities. In the case of mining, you can check out RST Solutions if you’re having challenges managing the situation.
Lands that are stripped or overgrazed will leave the top layer susceptible to erosion. It is the topsoil that has the most valuable nutrients which are necessary for the survival of plants and surrounding vegetation.
Effects of Soil Erosion
The effects of soil erosion on the environment are far-reaching. It can affect waterways, infrastructure, and agriculture. If you’re a farmer, you will immediately notice a sharp decline in crop yield. A land that was once fertile and arable will become unusable because of soil erosion. That is why a complete assessment of the impact of mining is done to assess the potential damage it could cause to the immediate environment.
The effect goes beyond the loss of fertility. There will be sediments from the erosion, which will result in water pollution. The sediments containing agricultural chemicals are washed off into waterways thus reducing the water quality. This could cause harm to aquatic animals. There will also be the extra burden of having to treat the water better so that it can be suitable for human consumption.
Minimizing and Preventing Soil Erosion
In this post, we’ve come up with ways in which soil erosion can be prevented or minimized so that the effects are not as devastating.
Reducing Vegetation Disturbance
If you’re planning to mine or construct on a particular site, the first step will involve looking at ways to preserve the surrounding vegetation. One of the most effective ways of doing so is by making sure that there are trees and other ground covers. This provides protection for the fertile topsoil against erosion action such as overland flow and wind.
Geotextiles are permeable and are used primarily to stabilize soil that is loose. They will also be used in filtering sediments out of the water to minimize the population. Geotextiles can be seen as a viable solution especially in an area where large-scale mining is taking place. Geotextiles are semi-permanent and biodegradable mats which can be used to filter, protect, and reinforce vegetation and the soil they’re protecting.
This option is not only cost-effective but it is also environmentally friendly. A Geospray can be described as a high-performing fiber which is used for the purposes of reinforcement. Geospray can be used in providing stabilization and support for roadside batter, controlling swelling drains and sedimentation, and for mining applications. Geospray is often seen as a good solution because it dries quickly and can provide protection against the rain even if it has been applied in the last four hours.
These products will come in handy in the suppression of dust and preventing soil erosion. It is a cost-effective alternative if you’re looking for a solution that is a soluble polymer. It works when it penetrates the top layer of the soil thereby forming a layer that is durable and is able to bond with the soil particles. It will form a solidified composition which will be able to hold the soil on site. This is also another great solution for mining applications where a large-scale solution is necessary.
This is the application of water, fertilizer, fiber mulch, and seeds which will protect the soil from erosion. It will entail the use of a Hydraulic Growth Medium which is directly added to the hydro mulch. This helps in replenishing the nutrients in the soil.
To sum it up, it is important that a proper soil appraisal is done before looking for a solution to the erosion. Those intending to do mining in a particular area are required to an environmental impact assessment to determine the viability of the project without causing disruption to the environment.
As a mining or construction company, you will need to look for a solution to the soil erosion problem as it will happen. The most important thing is to ensure that it is being minimized by practicing safe mining. It is always good to be prepared for the challenges. This will mean taking a proactive approach. Identify potential weak points in the landscape and take the appropriate measures for mitigation.
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