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Erosional Settings

Erosion can occur almost anywhere on land or in the ocean. However, erosion does occur more rapidly in certain settings. Erosion happens faster in areas with steep slopes, such as mountains, and especially in areas where steep slopes combine with flowing water (mountain streams) or flowing ice (alpine glaciers). Erosion is also rapid where there is an absence of vegetation, which would stabilize the surficial materials. Some settings where the absence of vegetation helps accelerate erosion are deserts, mountain tops, or agricultural lands. Whatever the setting, water is a more effective agent of erosion than wind or ice—even in the desert.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Ephemeris to Evolution - Historical BackgroundErosion - Sources Of Erosional Energy, Erosional Settings, Agents And Mechanisms Of Transport, Products And Impacts Of Erosion - Weathering, Vegetation, Climate, Surface material, Slope angle