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Introduction: Have you ever gone on a hike and noticed a large boulder that seemed out of place compared to the surrounding landscape? Or, have you visited a beach after a coastal storm and seen how the shoreline was reshaped? Perhaps you felt sand and pebbles tickle your legs as you stood in a flowing river? These are all examples of erosion.

Erosion is the movement, or transportation, of weathered material. This can include sand, soil, pieces of rocks, and even large boulders.
Meandering River
Rivers are powerful agents of erosion
The Earth's surface is constantly being reshaped. Weathering breaks down rocks. Next, erosion moves the broken down material. Finally, the materials get deposited someplace new by the process of deposition. The cycle of weathering, erosion, and deposition is continuous.

There are many ways natural forces move sediment from place to place. Some of the most powerful agents of erosion include water, wind, ice, and gravity. Although any surface rock can undergo erosion, certain factors will increase or decrease the rate at which it erodes. For example, vegetation stabilizes slopes. Removing vegetation from a hill allows agents of erosion to work more easily on the hill and increases the rate of sediment removal. Climate, slope angle, water input, and human activity can also influence the rate of erosion.


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