Erosion is the destruction of the upper layer of soil, which occurs both under the influence of natural forces and from man. Without erosion control, long-term damage to the local ecosystem, residential buildings, and transport systems can be caused. But, even if we are unable to respond to rain or wind, there are industry strategies that can optimally redirect water flow and reduce potential damage.
Types of soil erosion
The surface layer of the soil can be destroyed by the action of water or wind, respectively, it is customary to distinguish between water and wind erosion of the soil.
Water erosion occurs mainly on slopes from which the top layer of soil is washed away. As a result, gullies and ravines begin to form, and very soon the terrain begins to lose its original qualities.
Wind erosion occurs mainly in areas with large open spaces, it is the weathering of soil particles in areas not protected by vegetation.
Causes of soil erosion
When selecting methods to combat those water and wind erosion, it is necessary to take into account the causes of its occurrence. Only when the causes are eliminated, it is possible to achieve a stable result and ensure the protection of the soil.
The following factors affect the rate of destruction of the surface layer:
- Features of the microclimate. The occurance of water erosion is typical for regions with prolonged heavy rains.
- Terrain features. The rate of erosion directly depends on the steepness and length of the slopes, in addition, destructive processes develop faster on convex slopes than on concave surfaces. On the plains, erosion develops faster where vegetation cover is minimal.
- The presence of a plant layer. The roots of plants guarantee the soil reliable protection from water and wind, in addition, they provide rapid absorption of moisture and prevent the soil from drying out even in hot weather. Tall plant stems also prevent soil weathering, as the wind speed near the ground decreases.
Erosion control in Fresno: most successful methods
In the hilly slopes of Fresno, a popular method of protection against water erosion is the stabilization of the slopes. The most effective methods of combating erosion are determined by the steepness of the terrain. Contact our specialists today to find the solution on erosion control in your area – visit our Services Page.
Slopes with moderate steepness
For the protection of slopes with a slight steepness adding plants and mulch will help decrease erosion. The main criterion for the selection of plants is the presence of a variety of deep-lying, extensive root systems. It is optimal to use perennial ground covers, shrubs, and trees.
Among the most popular native and drought tolerant species are Eriogonum (California buckwheat), Arctostaphylos (manzanita), rhamnus (coffeeberry), and Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush). Organic mulch is also used to cover the bare soil between plants. You should, however, avoid shredded bark, which easily blows away and can also be a fire hazard.
Slopes with pronounced steepness
If the steepness of the slopes is great then plants alone may not be enough. In such patches, erosion control tools such as jute netting and straw wattles (long fiber-encased straw tubes) may need to be installed to retain the slope until the plants can take over during erosion control in Fresno.
Very steep slopes
Houses located on hilly slopes can be seriously affected by soil erosion. If the slope steepness exceeds 50%, then retaining walls and/or terracing will be needed to control erosion. Terraces have a lot of advantages – they look attractive, increase the aesthetic value of the property, and could be a useful area suitable for gardening. The creation of terraces and retaining walls should be handled by experienced professionals – large firms with an impeccable reputation, such as Landscape Development, Inc.
For the construction of large walls a state permit is required – the California Building Code says that a building permit is required for all new, replacement, and or repaired retaining walls. If the wall is supporting a surcharge, it will require a building permit. A surcharge is a vertical load imposed on the retained soil that may impose a lateral force in addition to the lateral earth pressure of the retained soil.
If, as a result of precipitation, swamps began to form on your site, the installation of a drainage system will help solve this problem. A dry creek bed is a popular type of surface drain for erosion control in Fresno. A dry creek bed can be designed to channel water down a slope. Another type of system is called French drains – such a system consists of a gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe in the bottom. To learn more about drainage options please contact us at Landscape Development, Inc.